Robert Kirkman's In-Depth Discussion on WALKING DEAD Season 4

The Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman recently gave an in-depth interview to THR about the show's highly anticipated fourth season. He talked about some of the changes that are coming. Kirkman says that it will be "more focused on who these characters are and what they're going through, we got away from that a little bit in season three." He also went on to talk about Michonne's mission, Carl, Andrea, the character Bob Stookey, The Governo,r and more! Fans have a lot to look forward too!

If Frank Darabont's run was described as nuanced and Mazzara's was fast-paced, how will Gimple's tenure be described? 

It's a much more character-based story. It's going to be more focused on who these characters are and what they're going through. To a certain extent, we got away from that a little bit in season three. Coming into season four, we're definitely going to know a lot more about these people so it will be that much more gut-wrenching and worse when we lose these characters.
How is the show different under Gimple's leadership?
More than any other showrunner, Scott actually read the comics regularly and was a huge fan before the show existed and watched the first season and was a fan before he was brought on as a writer in season two. He absolutely loves the material. We are definitely going in some new directions and this will continue to be a different take on the material form the comics but there will possibly be some scenes that are a little bit closer to the comic than we've done in the past. Season four probably has the most number of scenes that are adapted directly from the comic series or very close to what we did. A good deal of that is from Scott and the way he views that material and puts forth that extra effort to work it into the show in a way that it all works.
When does season four pick up? What kind of a time jump will there be?
There's going to be a bit of a time jump. Some time has passed between season three and season four. It's only a few months, we're not nailing down the exact number of days or anything like that. The prison that we see is a very different prison and the characters that we see are very different from the last time we saw them. We go into season four with characters you've known for four years and still find new things to explore with them and new aspects of their character and see that they are growing and changing in extremely dramatic ways due to the strains that this world has put upon them.

What kind of condition will the group be in after Andrea and Merle's death? 

These are big deaths they're dealing with. Rick is still very much dealing with Lori's (Sarah Wayne Callies) death and everyone is still missing T-Dog (IronE Singleton). These were some really big, dramatic losses that took place in season three and that's something that's very much going to play into season four and how they move forward. A lot of those deaths and those actions from season three have direct results on where we pick up things up in season four. We'll see there was a plan involved and these things do lead to other things, which in turn, makes them worthwhile. I miss these characters as much as everybody else but you'll see that they do benefit the story in some really cool ways and will lead to a lot of interesting things moving forward.

Season three was about two divided camps -- Rick and the Governor's. How will season four be different with the Governor still out there? 

We're telling completely different stories. While the Governor is still out there and still a threat, we're going to see him in a new light and he won't appear until we least expect it. I don't think people are really going to be able to anticipate what we do with the Governor; it's going to be radically different. Once that story unfolds over the course of this season, people will see this is a very different story from season three and we are breaking some new ground with these characters.
The series took a major departure from the comics with Andrea's death. How will we see her death impact everyone?
That death is going to loom large over the entire cast. Everyone is still reeling from it. Michonne (Danai Gurira) in particular is going to have quite a bit going on with her because of that loss. As we meet Michonne coming back this season, she's on a mission to hunt down the Governor. It's something she's very obsessed with. It's big part of her character this season. She did lose Andrea and she lost her because of the Governor. She's not willing to let that guy go or be out there. It's something that may possibly be to her detriment, the fact that she's so dedicated to finding this person. That's something that very much informs her character this season.

How will Michonne's search for the Governor conflict with what Rick? Is he going to be eager to go after this guy again? 

Rick is always trying to do what he feels is best for his family. When he feels like it's best to be the leader and take charge and push people away and do these seemingly crazy things that he was doing in season three, that was all in an effort to protect Carl and Judith. Now he's seen a different path that needs to be protected in a different way and that childhood needs to be preserved and they need to have stability. What he's doing now seems to be a bit more passive and less of a leadership role. But at the same time, he's also trying to be that standard that Carl and Judith can grow up with. He's trying to provide for them in a different and more meaningful way and maintain their childhoods to a certain extent. He's doing something very different, but his goals are still the same: keep these kids safe and growing up.

Carl could really go either toward the Governor or toward Rick. How will we find him handling a new group of people to care for at the prison considering we saw him kill someone he thought was a threat in cold blood last year.

That's something that has become huge part of Carl's character. That event and the fact that he did that. It's something that Rick has been somewhat terrified by; the fact that his son went to that place and is growing into that person. That's informing both Rick and Carl's actions as they move into this season. There are more people around, there are people from Woodbury that are now living there and Carl is having to deal with this. His behavior is being guided by Rick and his role as father to him. There's some interesting stuff coming up with Carl that I can't reveal right now but there's good stuff ahead.

You've cast Larry Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey, who in the comics helps save the Governor after Michonne tortures him following her rape. How will you be approaching the violence that comes with this story line this season? Or was Maggie's torment from season three all we'll see on that front?

Bob Stookey is very much the character that he was in the comic series. He also appears in the novel series and is a pretty big character there as well. Maybe that means we're adapting some of the stories he was involved in, maybe we're doing some other things he was a part of or maybe we're going a different way. Like all of the other characters, though we may do different things with them, they are very much the they're same characters that are being adapted into this world and have the same personalities and back stories. Bob will be someone who is familiar to the comic and novel audience but we're definitely not married to doing those stories and could do different things there.

To read the full interview, click here.  

GeekTyrant Homepage