Anyone up for some spoilers for The Walking Dead season four?
In case you tuned in late — or not at all — to the most popular cable television show in America,The Walking Dead, based on a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, follows a small group of survivors who are led by Georgia Sheriff Rick Grimes (British actor Andrew Lincoln) in a quest to try to find a safe haven far away from menacing zombie-cannibal “walkers,” a.k.a. “biters.” Some of the humans that they encounter along the way are also equally dangerous. The Walking Dead is a big part of the AMC network’s powerhouse Sunday night franchise which also includes Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
The “walking dead” may also describe the humans who are all infected with the virus in its dormant stage.
In separate Hollywood Reporter interviews, executive producer Kirkman and new showrunner Scott Gimple disclosed that season four will be more character driven than the prior season of the apocalypic zombie opus that ended on March 31. There will also be more mixing and matching from the graphic novel (a.k.a. comic book) source material. Gimple took over from Glen Mazzara who in turn took over from Frank Darabont in running the series.
Character development could also — depending upon your perspective — be code for boring. Season two at times got bogged down into soap opera at the expense of action. Or, as someone once wrote on the internet at the time, the episodes could be improved by “less chat and more splat.” Season three was far more fast-paced.
Said Kirkman about Gimple’s approach to The Walking Dead, “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.”
With Scott Gimple — a big fan of the comic from the beginning — in charge of the show’s content, Kirkman explained that “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.”
He added that Andrea’s death (which ended actress Laurie Holden’s run on the show) in the season finale will still “loom large” over the survivors moving forward.
Gimple generally echoed Kirkman’s thoughts on what’s upcoming for season four: “As far as my own personal stamp, it’s more of what we do here already with character-driven stories and really delving into these characters while having some amazing, horrible scares and exciting sequences but all in service to a greater story that builds.”
He also explained that he is “remixing” some of the material from the graphic novel to use on the TV show: “Going back to the remix idea, there are going to be big moments from the comic that will be seen in a very different context that fans will recognize but aren’t that different in the continuity of the book… You will recognize a bunch of those big moments this season, but you will also see that they aren’t exactly the same as they panned out in the comic, and you’ll know why because of where the story is now.”
In an earlier interview, Kirkman — who understandably tends to talk in vague terms about upcoming plot developments — wouldn’t rule out the Rick Grimes character from being killed off.
The Walking Dead returns to TV with new episodes in October. Are you looking forward to season four and how do you feel about about the show supposedly focusing more on character than action? Does it sound like the show might have “less bite”?