No spoilers: Kirkman hasn't even told AMC where The Walking Dead is heading

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Nov 13, 2016, 3:42 PM EST (Updated)

With the TV series in its seventh season, The Walking Dead still has some ground to make up before it catches the timeline in the comic that inspired it. So how much does AMC know about where the comic is heading?

Not a whole lot, at least according to creator Robert Kirkman. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman said the TV showrunner Scott Gimple prefers to remain in the dark about what’s coming down the line — and Kirkman made it clear the network has “no approval” over what happens in his comic series. More than anything, he now considers the comic as a proving ground for the TV stories that can come later, and that includes the franchise’s eventual finale. 

Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

“[T]here’s no communication whatsoever. They have no approval over what happens in the comic. Scott Gimple is an avid reader of the comic, and prefers to experience the comic book as a reader, so he gets the advance issues as they’re published, but he doesn’t read scripts. He gets mad at me if I give him any kind of indication as to what’s coming, because he doesn’t like spoilers. So, they’re kind of a hundred percent in the dark, which I guess is pretty remarkable, and I would probably say it’s a testament to the trust that AMC has in me. I mean, I guess to a certain extent, at this point, the comic book is kind of a workshop of future seasons of the show, and it’s fun to think that I can just completely torpedo the story if I wanted to…

I know exactly how it ends, and I’m always taking baby steps toward that point as I’m telling the story. I know what the end point is, and at the end of the day, I want this entire long narrative to be a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. We’re just spending a lot of time in the middle, so, I kind of have to know what that direction is, and I have to know what that end point is to be able to keep building towards it. I think that’s the only way to keep it alive.”

Considering the show has gone on to be literally the biggest show on television, you’d think AMC might’ve gotten a bit twitchy about what Kirkman does with the mega-successful comic that inspires it. But nope, it seems the network trusts Kirkman to keep telling his story, and they’re content to just keep mining it for future seasons.

Hey, it’s worked pretty well for seven years. Why stop now?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)