With a myriad of zombie projects coming to light as of late, some are worried about the inevitable point of over saturation. Surely there are only so many angles one can take on the flesh-eating genre? We have covered the socio-political mass-consumerist angle (George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead) the red-neck angle, the Australian angle (Blacksheep and the upcoming Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead), the British angle (28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead), and we have even had vampires going to war against the walking dead (The Dead Undead, Blade II). So, where to next? Suppose we should leave that to Robert Kirkman, comic book creator and producer of AMC‘s massive show The Walking Dead.
With Kirkman and AMC’s spin-off ready to start filming and boasting the talents of Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis among the cast, it looks like they are heading over to the west coast; Los Angeles to be precise. So, does this mean that we are going to have glorified cameos of the usual Z-list celebrity fare queuing up to make guest appearances as zombies? – or even worse, featuring in recurring guest spots: hopefully not!
EW, caught up with the creator to get a bit more intel as to how this show will be different from the original, and he had a lot to say on how it will be a breath of fresh air, without actually mentioning any specifics as to how and why apart from the obvious change in locale (this will make sense when you read the passage below). Here is what Kirkman had to say about the Spin-off:
“I will say that this is going to be a show about family,” says Kirkman. “But it’s going to be a show about a different type of family that we haven’t explored in The Walking Dead thus far. So what we’re trying to do withThe Walking Dead spinoff is keep the story as familiar as possible for people that love The Walking Dead, so you’ll get the kind of things that you expect from a Walking Dead story. But, at the same time, we’ll want to tell these stories in a completely different way with completely different people in a completely different setting that’s going to make for a fundamentally different show. I think the look and feel of The Walking Dead spinoff is going to be startlingly different.”
Kirkman has also stated that viewers can jump straight into this show blind, without having watched the original series or having read the comics:
“We want it to be a new show that can stand on its own,” says the exec-producer of both programs. “You could watch The Walking Dead spinoff if you’ve never watched an episode of The Walking Dead and get a really great, rich, fulfilling experience out of it. It has to be a show that can stand on its own. I think that’s what we’ve accomplished, and we start filming in a couple of days. I’m really excited.”
According to Kirkman, there will be no characters from the comics appearing on the new show, which makes sense as it is set on the other side of the country:
“It’s Los Angeles. It’s a corner of the world that we have never explored in the comic book series. So, theoretically, something like this could be happening in Los Angeles in the comic book series, but we don’t show you this area of the country in the comic book series. So it fits within that world, but it is all new characters, all new events and all kinds of crazy stuff.”
The new pilot will be directed by seasoned TV director Adam Davidson, who has already worked on a few action set-pieces on the cult comedy Community, and is a newcomer to The Walking Dead and the horror genre in general. Kirkman hopes this will further differentiate the two versions of the TV show and he sounds pretty stoked on the idea:
“[Adam Davidson] hasn’t directed The Walking Dead… so that is one way that we’re trying to bring a new directing style to the show—to bring in new visual language to this show. That’s something that Adam is working really hard to bring. He’ll largely be responsible for the different look and feel that makes the show stand on it’s own.”
So there you have it folks, change is heading our way (apparently). Will you be tuning in? Or do you reckon you’ll be biting off far more than you can chew amongst your already burgeoning list of ‘TV-shows-to-watch’ list?