THE WALKING DEAD Creator Robert Kirkman Reflects on The TV Series Debut
Published: November 1, 2010 - 8:09pm
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman spoke with Entertainment Weekly and discussed why his comic/TV show starts the same as 28 Days Later and hinted that long-time survivors in the comic aren't so safe after all.
Now that The Walking Dead is not only on television, but breaking records and scoring huge ratings, Kirkman can finally breathe a sigh of relief that his comic has transitioned from ink to TV land. But there is one thing that will probably always bug him even seven years later. 28 Days Later having the exact same intro as The Walking Dead.
"Welcome to my life seven years ago. It was complete coincidence. I saw 28 Days Later shortly before the first issue of Walking Dead was released. That first issue came out in October of 2003 and 28 Days Later was released in the States in June of 2003. So we were working on our second issue by the time I saw it. It was going to be a matter of somehow trying to restage the entire first issue, because it was a very similar coma opening. I made a decision—which I pretty much regret at this point—I said, “You know what? It’s so different [from that point on], I will probably never hear anything about this.” And I was wrong. It was a little annoying. But great minds think alike, right?" said Kirkman.
He went on to reveal what many probably didn't expect considering many practical effects were utilized during the making of the show, but it appears there were a lot of digital effects as well though you wouldn't necessarily notice them at first glance.
"There is an alarming amount of CGI in the pilot episode and in the whole show, and you would never know it. The company, Stargate, that does it, does a lot of CGI for television, and they do an amazing job. There’s a shot where Rick is riding off on the horse and his hat actually blew off, and they really liked that shot, and so they had Stargate go in and digitally put the hat back on his head," said Kirkman.
One of the things that is noticeably different storyline-wise that we see in the pilot from the comic is that Lori and Shane's love affair is still continuing back at the survivor camp. Kirkman explains why in his comic he moved through this storyline in much quicker fashion.
"At that time in my career, it was very early, I had had a lot of books canceled, just because of poor sales. So early on in the book I would move past storylines very quickly. I set up this love triangle and I resolved that story and moved along within the first [few] issues. But there’s a lot of story potential to mine there. One of the things that the TV show is able to do is to look at the comic book series with hindsight and go, “This would probably be something that we could explore more.” And that’s what we’re going to be doing. So we’ll be seeing a lot more of the Lori-Shane-Rick love triangle," he said.
Kirkman went on to comment on how confident readers should be on which characters are still alive or have lived for a long time in the comic and if that will be reflected in the TV series as well.
"Not. Confident. At all. One of the best aspects of the comic book series is, when you sit down to read an issue, you really have no idea what’s going to happen. Anybody could go at any moment. There’s really no sense of safety in the comic book at all. And I wanted to preserve that for the television show. If people on the show have ideas for different things to happen, I encourage that. I want people to be as surprised by the show as they are by the comic book series," said Kirkman.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays only on AMC.
Bonus: Check out AMC's coverage of the Red Carpet for the advance screening of the pilot episode.