Now that The Walking Dead is back, the series is slowly building towards an explosive finale. The next season, however, will launch under new showrunners, in the aftermath of former showrunner Glen Mazzara’s departure from the series. He’s the second showrunner the zombie series has gone through in a mere three seasons, and there are still many questions about whether the quality of the series will suffer in Mazzara’s absence.
According to producer Gale Anne Hurd, many of the storylines were already in the works before Mazzara took the job as The Walking Dead’s new showrunner, replacing its first showrunner, Frank Darabont. She admitted that the series writers had already “figured out” how to put together season three, which means the changes we thought Mazzara was responsible for were already in place. She also says that, “essentially with the series moving forward, he (Mazzara) saw Season 4 in a different light than AMC did.”
Hurd also credits the show’s reinvigorated third season to comic book creator Robert Kirkman’s vision for the TV series. Hurd explains (SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 AHEAD):
“There are a lot of times when he goes back to the comic book and goes ‘Wow, that actually would have been an interesting thing to do.’ Keeping Shane alive in season two was something he fully supported and the change-up of having Rick kill him and then having Carl shoot the zombified Shane was also something he fully supported,” said Hurd. “In the rest of season three, there were things that I can’t talk about, but same thing, that he fully fully supported.”
The Walking Dead has improved a great deal since it premiered in 2010. Whether it just took some time to adapt the original source material to television, or if one creative force was completely responsible, will have to be left to speculation. Let’s just hope the series will keep its current pace and tone.
As for the rumored Walking Dead movie, Hurd says “Right now, seriously, we’re focused on Season 4. If there was a movie, there are so many decisions that would need to go into it. The availability of the cast and all of that,” said Hurd.