Sunday, April 21, 2013

Executive Producer and Writer Robert Kirkman Answers Fan Questions

The Walking Dead Executive Producer and Writer talks about killing off characters, Daryl finding romance in Season 4, his thoughts on living life as a zombie and the eerie similarities between The Walking Dead and a kid's movie.

Q: What was the reasoning behind having Laurie Holden's character killed in the Season 3 Finale? --Cancerdog
A: We were really working on the Woodbury arc, and it sort of played out that it made sense. The only thing that would make Rick accept the remainder of Woodbury would be something as tragic as seeing Andrea lose her life. The unfortunate thing about all these deaths is that right now the audience is saying, "Oh my God, why did you kill Andrea?" We understand that's an emotional thing -- it's supposed to be -- but there's a lot of stuff in Season 4 that comes from that moment. Once the viewer sees the next season, they'll know why we did it.
Q: How do you let the actors know their number is up? And do they get any say on the amount of blood spilled? --Ani Munoz
A: They get as much input into their death scene as any actor does in any scene. It's a back and forth, and there are a lot of discussions that go between writers and directors and actors. As far as when they find out that they're dying, usually it's a call before the script comes out. It's very late in the process. We try to be really mindful of the actor's process -- we don't want an actor to play a scene differently because they know they're going to die.
Q: With Rick bringing more people back to the prison, will this is some way complicate his relationship with Carl? --Diana M Sawyer
A: We'll have to find out in Season 4, but I will say that the dynamic between Rick and Carl is going to be a central focus of the season, and it is going to change in some startling and interesting ways.
Q: Can the group survive if something happens to Rick? --Jamal Montgomery
A: Yes, absolutely. We've been saying that no one is safe on this show, and I wouldn't rule out seeing the death of Rick Grimes at almost any point. We really like to keep people guessing, and I could definitely see some interesting stories coming from that. While Rick has been a pretty solid leader, he's definitely made his share of mistakes. I think seeing Daryl or Maggie or Glenn picking up a larger leadership role in the group could pose some interesting story possibilities.
Q: Can you talk more about the casting process for the show? --Always Walking Dead
A: We work with our casting agent and go over a wide range of people and tons of footage. A lot of people remark on how similar our cast is to characters in the comic book series, and it is kind of a strange coincidence that as we're looking for the best actors for the role, sometimes we'll come upon someone who looks unusually like the way they've been drawn in the comic book.
Q: Robert, will we see Morgan again? --TonyinKC
A: Well, all I can really say is that the guy's not dead, and Rick definitely knows where he is. The door is always open for an eventual return of Morgan. When or how that will happen will have to remain a mystery for now, but I think it's definitely a possibility.
Q: There's recently been a meme comparing The Walking Dead to Toy Story. Be honest: how much did Toy Story inspire your work? --Moot_Lagoon 
A: It's hilarious. There are definitely some eerie similarities. Toy Story is a fantastic piece of work, and it's flattering to be compared to it in any way, but I will say that I think some of the similarities are a little bit stretched. I've definitely seen all three [Toy Story movies] and there's a good bit of emotion from seeing anthropomorphic toys and their relationship to the kids they belong to, but I don't think there's any kind of inspiration drawn from that in The Walking Dead.
Q: Can you shed any light into how the Governor's story will continue...or close in Season 4? --Jeffrey Hawboldt
A: I can say the Governor will certainly be around. But we'll be seeing him in a new light, and doing some different stuff with him, so it's not going to be the same Governor in Season 4.
Q: I find it hard to believe the most badass dude in the zombie apocalypse is the only guy not getting laid! Will Daryl ever have a love interest? --Johnny Zimmerman
A: Never say never! I think that it could happen eventually. I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but Daryl is a complex character and he's really got a lot of emotional hurdles to get over in his life. It is kind of odd that we haven't seen him in that kind of romantic light, but I think that adds a layer to the character that makes him a little more mysterious and a little cooler. But I wouldn't rule out some kind of love interest for him in the future.
Q: At this juncture, the TV show has veered away from the graphic novel series. If you had to choose one of the two universes, which would you say is your favorite? --therunningdead
A: Well, I'm a little biased because I've been writing the comics for a decade, but I consider that to be the original. The comic book is where it all came from, so I consider the TV show to be an alternate to what happens in the comics.
Q: How do you decide what information from the comics to keep the same, and what to change? --Erica Britt
A: Well that's a long process involving all the writers, the showrunner, everybody. It's really a matter of sitting down at the beginning of the season and working out what happened in the comics and when and how and why, and seeing if it plugs into our world. It's a pretty organic thing. Also [it's a chance] to set up things and do comic book moments in ways that I didn't really do when I was writing the comics -- with the benefit of hindsight.
Q: Are there any story lines you explored in the TV series that you've considered for the comic? -- Dani
A: An example is that really great exchange between Hershel and Glenn, where Hershel talks about how you never know who's the right guy for your daughter until you meet the right guy. It's really a poignant thing that [Producer] Angela Kang wrote. I never had a moment like that between Glenn and Hershel, and that kind of thing would be nice. But the way these things work, I'm writing issues where -- spoiler alert -- Glenn and Hershel are dead. So it doesn't really translate well, unfortunately. It would be nice to mine the great work of these fantastic writers on the show and make my job easier.
Q: When Merle is attracting the walkers to his car to take out the Governor, the first one to approach looks exactly like the iconic zombie from Dawn of the Dead, 1978. Was this a nod to that film? --radio118
A: It was a nod to that walker from Dawn of the Dead -- and we had to do it twice. Greg Nicotero is a George Romero alum, and he wanted to do a little nod to Romero, so he made up that walker and put it in a scene. But that scene ended up getting cut, so he did it again to make sure it made it in the show.
Q: Do you ever wish you were a walker? --Amanda Calvert Simpson
A: No, never! Being a walker would be terrible. You smell bad, you're falling apart, and I'm sure it's really uncomfortable. But even just from a practical real-world standpoint, those guys are covered in latex and sticky paint and fake blood, and it's hot in Georgia. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anybody who plays a walker on our show, because it is an extremely difficult job that I will never do because I'm lazy and I don't like being uncomfortable.

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