Between his ongoing comic projects, The Walking Dead television show and its upcoming spinoff, series creator Robert Kirkman is one busy dude. So, what’s the latest on all those irons in the fire?
Kirkman chatted with MTV about everything from the Dead comics to season five of the TV version, and finally gave a definitive answer on when (or whether) we might ever see fan favorite character Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in the comic version. Recent April Fools jokes aside, it seems we won’t, and there’s a pretty good reason.
Here’s Kirkman’s explanation, which makes a great point about Daryl’s impact on the TV adaptation:
“I like that Daryl is the element of the show that is an agent of change, that really affects every story as we try to adapt them. Losing that by putting him in the comic would do a disservice to the show, and the comics. As much as I love Norman Reedus, and everybody loves Norman Reedus, you'll never see Daryl Dixon in the comic. There, I said it.”
Though we’d take all the Daryl we can get, we’d have to agree. The character’s impact on the television series cannot be understated, and he’d be a weird fit to drop into the comic right now, considering where all the characters are at this point in the “All Out War” storyline. So we're glad Kirkman isn't caving to that pressure.
As for the other Walking Dead show, work is still zipping along on that mysterious spinoff series that'll come to AMC within the next year or so, though Kirkman played that one very close to the vest:
"As far as the spin-off goes, I'm actively working with [Showrunner] Dave Erickson on that, and we know when our proposed release date is — although I can't tell you that, obviously. We're working towards that show, and it's gonna be awesome."
Kirkman also gave a brief update on season five of the flagship series, which is currently deep in the scripting stage. They apparently have the season entirely mapped out, and several scripts are already complete:
“It's always interesting the way these things overlap. By the time people have seen the entirety of the season, we're already pretty much done with the writing on the first half of the next season. We're always quite a bit ahead. We'll be rolling cameras in May, so I'm very excited about that. We'll have another season of Walking Dead down.
It's strange for me, being on the fifth season, because I feel like we just started. Five is... On some shows, on some great shows, they run for five seasons and they're done. And it's like, "Wow, that show ran for a long time." I feel like we're still very much getting started, which is the feeling I've always had on the comics. So that's definitely a strange thing to realize, that five years have passed already.”
One last tidbit? Though we already expected it, Kirkman confirmed with “99 percent” certainty that current comic baddie Negan will be showing up in the series at some point, though fans shouldn’t expect to encounter the leader of the Saviors too soon on the small screen.
After the interviewer recommended that Mad Men alum Jon Hamm could pop over and play the baseball-bat-sporting psycho, Kirkman gave the idea his seal of approval and teased that Negan’s “All Out War” storyline is definitely a part of the series’ long game:
“He's not tall enough! That's a joke. I think Jon Hamm would be perfect. I think after "Mad Men" has run, Jon Hamm is going to have a Tom Hanks level film career, so I don't think he'll be coming back to television anytime soon. Although that would be cool!
As far as Negan casting goes, Scott and I are always talking about who we would put in that, it's definitely on our minds, and there are definitely a lot of candidates. But I wouldn't expect Negan too terribly soon, although he is definitely in the plan. It's a 99 percent lock that he's going to be in the show eventually, so be on the lookout for that.”
Along with all these bits, there’s quite a bit more for Walking Dead fans in the full interview. if you’re a fan of the comics, we highly recommend you check it out.