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Jul 15 2013

Robert Kirkman details ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4

The Walking Dead - Season 4 banner

Series creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman has laid out some of the plans for the fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead for THR this weekend. Be warned, as this post contains some spoilers for the third season.

With incoming showrunner Scott Gimple, the show’s third in as many years, Kirkman speaks of a renewed focus on character, something that the heightened opera of the war with The Governor (David Morrissey) journeyed away from. Describing Gimple’s approach as distinct from Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara, Kirkman says:

“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.”

Fans of the comic will have been disappointed with the show’s second and third seasons, which not only drifted dramatically from the Image Comics source material, but also dashed any chances of certain story arcs playing out. Indeed, The Governor arc was a very different and much darker beast in the comics, and the character of Michonne was sorely misused in the show’s third season. Kirkman adds that Gimple, a fan of the comic prior to the show, aims to bring the focus back to stories that can be found in the pages of Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s comic.

“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.”

That said, Kirkman remains coy on the appearance of Larry Gillard Jr as Bob Stookey. Given the way season 3 played out, it is difficult to see his character (introduced all the way back in issue #29) being the same as the comic counterpart:

“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”.

We’ll also be experiencing something of an undisclosed time jump between the third and fourth seasons, as the character have been dealing with the deaths of several characters from the third season. Michonne, for example, is off on a mission as a result of the death of Andrea (Danai Gurira)

“There’s going to be a bit of a time jump. Some timehas 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.”

The Walking Dead Season 4 will debut in October on AMC in the US to a season of 16 episodes.