The LA Times sat down with some of television’s hottest producers and talked shop. We’ve picked through it and cut out The Walking Dead show runner Glen Mazzara’s answers to some interesting questions and get his answer to why . . .
WON’T CARL STAY IN THE *BLEEP*-ING HOUSE ! ! !
What do you think people are keying into about your shows?
I think what people like about our show is for some odd reason everybody can buy a zombie apocalypse. Like people just get that, you know? Like, and so then they put themselves into the show. Like, oh, I would do that. Or, I would leave that guy there. Or, I would rescue that guy. Like it’s sort of, you know, people are screaming at the TV like when they watch a horror movie.
What considerations go into putting a character in jeopardy, particularly children?On [Glen’s] show, I started watching Season 2, you know, Carl gets shot and then the little girl is a zombie and …
Yeah, kids get shot on the show a lot. … It’s something we talk about because it obviously has a huge impact on the characters. It’s something that has to generate other story. You can’t just do it to be gratuitous or to be a shocking moment. It’s got to be earned. The pain that would be involved with a child being killed or hurt or missing, that pain doesn’t go away. And that becomes ingrained in the characters and then screws them up and makes them make bad decisions in the future and you can find the story that way.
There’s been was a rash of major characters killed off.
We had two big deaths. We had, you know, Shane played by Jon Bernthal. And that was in Robert Kirkman’s comic book. … We were having a lot of discussions about, well, this group is on this farm and is the farm dangerous? And we need people to be killed by zombies. We need to have a mean character because otherwise it’s gonna feel like … you’ve got these scary zombies but nobody’s getting killed by them. They can kill each other, but you need some zombie action there. So we decided to kill Jeff DeMunn’s character, Dale.
What’s the biggest argument you’ve had in the writers’ room?
We had a debate about the young boy, Carl. And everyone wants to know why Carl’s not in the house. Well, it’s boring to sit in a house. And he’s a little boy and he wants to mix it up and stuff. And he’s walking through the woods and finds a zombie trapped in the mud and he starts doing what any Huck Finn would do and starts throwing rocks at the monster. And then later that is the same zombie that pulls itself free and kills Dale. And the writers were very nervous about that, you know? It feels earned, but it’s a risk. Because Dale is a beloved character and if this other character is involved and responsible for that death, is the audience going to now hate Carl? But I thought the story was worth the chance.
This NerdBastard loved the “Why isn’t Carl in the house?” controversy and figures the writers decided to throw Carl under the “Zombie Bus” this season and deal with the negative fan reaction to the character later. In the comic Carl is a pretty bad-ass kid that quickly goes from a helpless child to someone one would want at their side when the zombie shit hits the fan.
Carl’s shooting of Shane might be that turning point, the beginning of the redemption of Carl. One can only hope that season three will let that side of Carl continue to develop and not return to the “Why isn’t Carl in the prison?”
What are your thoughts on Carl, The Walking Dead, and how the show has played out so far?
I think we can safely say we all saw the big surprise at the end of the latest episode of The Walking Dead coming from miles away. We’d been waiting for it since the series began and it had been spoiled multiple timesonline frommultiple sources. So, were you shocked? Were you able to not be spoiled ahead of time?
Even if you knew what was coming, what did you think of it? Sound off in the comments. But I’ll warn you, if you want to remain pure and unspoiled about the finale make sure you jump directly to bottom of the page. Below the cut we’re gonna be dropping more rumors about what’s still to come from The Walking Dead‘s finale. Proceed with caution.
If you couldn’t figure this one out from the title, don’t read the following article if you’d like to remain unspoiled about the rest of The Walking Dead season two. Seriously.
Okay, this is a rumor most fans have been convinced of for some time. If you’ve read the comic you’ve been patiently waiting for this to happen. Hell, even if you’ve only been following AMC‘s television show I’m sure you’ll be excited by the news.
The Walking Dead is enjoying a wonderful return to television, breaking all sorts of cable viewership ratings and delivering some of the most shocking moments thus far. And we’re loving every gruesome moment.
IGN snagged an exclusive chat with comic book creator and executive producer, Robert Kirkman and you can check out the video right here. He talks about the Shane/Rick conflict on the horizon, if and when we’ll see Michonne or the Governor, and he spends a good chunk of time discussing the divergences the series is making from the comics. As a faithful reader of the comic the unexpected twists and turns of TV series have been both exciting and frustrating. Mostly because I don’t know what’s coming! No one does! And that loss of control is fun but so infuriating.
Do I need to remind you of spoilers? ‘Cause they’re here if you’re not caught up with the TV show.
There’s no denying delving into alternate possibilities is cool, but I think there should still be constants between the comics and show. What do you think about some the more drastic changes from the comics being made on The Walking Dead?
Pull out your bullshit-detector because this rumor smells a little off.
io9 shared this doozy in their morning wrap-up of spoilers but it comes from Spoiler TV, who originally found it on one of The Walking Dead ‘s largest fan forums, Roamers and Lurkers. It comes from a user who claims to be a member of the production team. Already my bullshit-detector is beeping, but let’s continue anyway.
To start with they provided a quick summary of this coming Sunday’s episode, “Nebraska,” (Watch the first four minutes here!) and it seems within the realm of possibility. So far.
Hershel goes into town to a bar to drown his sorrows with alcohol, Rick and Glenn go after him. They find him drinking long story short, 2 guys walk in out of nowhere and essentially fake being nice all along wanting to know where they are staying so they can go raid and rape etc. Rick pretty much goes cowboy on em and kills em both. Hershel has a new found admiration for him after this. Anyway after awhile a bunch of people come looking for their friends and finally find out and there is a fire fight between Rick’s people and the others, many of them.
Hershel getting drunk. Can’t say I saw it coming, but all right, I’ll buy it. We did see a short preview scene of Rick and Hershel somewhere that could have been a bar and two strangers show up. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see Rick go “cowboy” on some dudes.
But this isn’t the major spoiler. If you think you’ll have regrets after reading what might be exactly what happens in the midseason premiere, stop now.
Of course, if you’re a fan of the comic book I bet you can guess where this is heading. We’ve only been expecting it since day one.
Shane does not make it through the season, essentially Lori puts into his head that if Rick wasn’t around they would still be together. This makes Shane change AGAIN, (he had finally made peace and Lori fucked him up again). Anyway he decides to kill Rick and lures him into the forest chasing after someone you will meet in “Nebraska”. Of course Rick isn’t stupid he realizes nothing is adding up and tries to give Shane a chance to abandon his plans. Believe it or not Rick loves Shane like a brother, anyway he finally calls Shane on it and Shane basically tells him how Carl and Lori will get over his death. Shane has a gun pointed at Ricks face and seconds away from shooting, when Rick starts to negotiate his way out of it, all along pulling a knife out. Long story short he lunges at Shane and buries the knife in his chest.
This then leads to Shane gettin’ zombified followed by Carl shooting him, killing him for good.
So, there you have it. And I’ve gotta say that if this is the route they take in adapting Shane’s death from comic to television, I’m disappointed. Again, if you’ve read the comic, Rick doesn’t kill Shane and Shane doesn’t become a zombie. Carl shoots Shane, killing him, because Shane was two-seconds away from going full-on crazy and killing Rick. I always wondered if the television show would shy away from the fact an 8-year-old kid shoots a man in the head and it seems they did. What a cop-out turning Shane into a zombie then having Carl kill him. All I’m saying is if they found that concept too much for TV then they’re going to have a hell of time adapting what comes next.
The forum post goes on to explain how this will affect Rick,
All this causes Rick to slowly change into a Shane if you will, believe me the show is going somewhere so crazy that Shane’s death will not even be a burden, he served his purpose by helping Ricks character transform.
And while, yes, I’ll agree Rick changes, a lot, as the series progressed I don’t think he simply changes into Shane. I think they chose to keep Shane around longer in the television show so we can see how cool-headed Rick can be, and continues to be even when the survivors have bigger and bigger shit storms to handle. And Rick does go off the deep-end from time to time but the reason he remains leader through all of this is he can think clearly when needed.
All right, so there are my thoughts on this rumor. I’m still calling bullshit on the whole premise, but what do you think? Is what this guy says possible? Or likely?
We’ll all find out for sure this Sunday at 9pm on AMC.
The first half of The Walking Dead‘s second season is almost over and a lot of questions have been raised which may or may not be answered before the show’s mid-season break. While making recent interview rounds, creator, writer and producer, Robert Kirkman has been fired at with a zillion questions, but mostly about few major points. One, when is Rick going to realize there’s something going on between Shane and Lori? And speaking of those two, just whose baby is Lori carrying? Also, while Sophia is still missing (Seriously, where the hell is that girl?) there’s another character we haven’t heard from in a while we just know will return, Merle. Where’s he hiding?
I think it’s clear, but spoilery talk lies before you.
Kirkman talked about the love triangle and the ramifications of Lori’s pregnancy with TV Guide,
Lori is pregnant! How is she going to deal with this revelation?
Robert Kirkman: It’s definitely a terrifying thing to consider in this world with the state of things, it’s like going back to pioneer days and having to worry about how you’re going to give birth and how you’re going to survive the pregnancy. This is a very complicated process in modern times, it requires a lot of interaction with doctors and none of that stuff is available, so it’s going to be terrifying for her.
The big question is whether the baby is Rick’s or Shane’s. How is that going to affect the dynamic among the three of them in particular?
Kirkman: This is going to be a catalyst for Shane. Once he finds out about this, assuming he does find out about this, he’s going to react pretty strongly to this. His whole reason for worrying about Lori and Carl (Chandler Riggs) is that they’ve become a surrogate family for them. If he believes this baby is going to be his, that’s just going to solidify his state with this family. It’s definitely going to throw a wrench in the whole love triangle thing that’s going on.
Yeah, nice save Kirkman. IF Shane finds out Lori’s pregnant. Him finding out would be enough for him to start thinking everything would be a lot better if Rick wasn’t around, setting up the inevitable Rick vs Shane showdown.
What I really want to now is what the fuck did Jenner whisper back in Rick’s ear at the end of season one!? I was convinced it was, “Lori’s pregnant.” And if Rick does know he’s going to look like a giant dick for not telling Lori first. Again, adding more drama and more fuel for the Rick-Lori-Shane love triangle.
Is Lori’s pregnancy what Jenner had whispered to Rick at the CDC in the Season 1 finale?
Kirkman: [Laughs] I can’t say. That remains to be seen. All I can say is that it’ll definitely be revealed this season. We’re getting close to the midpoint of the season, so the likelihood of it being in the first half is looking pretty slim.
If it’s not the pregnancy, what else do you think Jenner could have whispered to Rick?
And once everyone knows Lori’s got a bun in the oven, well, surely someone (RICK!) will notice Shane acting a little funny at the news. A little funny like, “Holy shit I might be the father,” -funny. Will he ever put it together those two had an affair?
Yeah, definitely. The thing is: We never want our main character to seem like he’s stupid. That’s not something we ever want to do. The audience has been aware of this affair since the very beginning of the show. Rick is a police officer, so I would suspect that he might start catching on to things sooner rather than later.
All right, besides all the baby drama, there’s another huge cloud hanging over our group of survivors, what the hell happened to Merle? When are we going to see him again?
All I can really say about Merle’s return is that it occurred to us in the writing of bringing Merle back that we never even saw Daryl Dixon and Merle Dixon interact in the first season. They were never in a scene together. Getting to see Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker actually interacting and playing off each other is going to be an enormous treat for the audience and it’s something we’ve been dying to get to.
So will we see Merle before this coming mid-season break? I’m thinking his return would be a great cliffhanger. Come on, we know they’ll be ending episode six with a huge cliffhanger to make us go insane until the season returns February 12th.
Here’s a preview of this Sunday’s episode, “Chupacabra.” Umm, is that really the title?
With only two more episodes left what do you think are the most frustrating questions so far left unaswered on The Walking Dead?