It’s almost a month to the day until new episodes of Walking Dead are back on the air, and the producers are finally starting to drop some hints about what we can expect. The biggest reveal? Look for the stakes to increase, bigtime.
Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd told SFX that “humanity lies in the balance” when the series returns, noting that Rick’s gang will have to battle it out with both zombies and other survivors. With the prison gone, it sounds like the survivors will be grappling with what it means even to be human anymore, as they try to retain some semblance of humanity. It was fun to see it play out in the comics, and we can’t wait to see what twists they add to the TV version.
As for how it might differ to the story in print, creator Robert Kirkman teases that the introduction of fan-fave comic character Rosita (Christian Serratos) will pack a few surprises for fans expecting the comic arc, while bit player Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) will see his role increase tremendously:
“[Bob is] kind of a linchpin to a lot of the storytelling and a lot of the storylines that [happened] early in the season, and his role will kind of emerge. You’ll get a bigger picture of who he is and what he’s been up to this entire time.
We’re introducing [Rosita] into the show in a somewhat different way than in the comics. As we get deeper into season four you start to see some hints as to what we’re doing and why we’re bringing her in.”
It’s always a tightrope to pay homage to the comics while keeping the story compelling for television, and Kirkman and company have struck gold up until this point — here’s hoping the luck doesn’t run out next month. With the prison storyline over, the series is (seemingly) about to start diving into some of the more recent arcs from the comic, and it’ll be a proving ground to see if the series can sustain the quality through all the changes.
Season four returns Feb. 9 on AMC. What do you want to see happen?