08 September 2009

Walking Dead TV

io9 | Kirkman: TV Can Make The Zombie Movie That Never Ends

The news that Robert Kirkman's zombie comic The Walking Dead was headed to television via Mad Men's cable home AMC, as opposed to movies, surprised many... but not Kirkman. As far as he's concerned, a movie would've missed the point.

Talking to Comic Book Resources, Kirkman said,
The thing that makes 'The Walking Dead' unique and interesting is that it's a zombie movie that never ends – that's the log line or whatever. To do a zombie movie that's based on that? Kinda dumb. The whole idea behind the book is that it's a long-term exploration on the characters and their situation and how they're dealing with these problems over a long period of time, the different things that happen to the characters and how it affects and changes the characters. You can do that in a series of movies, but it's not ideal. It's not really common for people to go, 'Oh, I'll buy this thing and commit to making 10 movies based on it!' So, the TV show makes way more sense to me for all of those reasons.
[...]

The Walking Dead pilot, written and directed by The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist's Frank Darabont, is currently in pre-production. The Walking Dead comic series is available now.
A Walking Dead TV Show?! I am such a happy little geek right now. The Walking Dead is one of the best comics being put out. I love Charlie Adlard's black and white art, and I love that Kirkman writes it as a straight forward survival story. None of this "ostensibly it's about zombies but really it's about the Bolshevik Revolution" bullshit. Trying to keep you and your kid alive when everyone around you is dying is plenty of grist for a story. I don't need it to be a metaphor for our fear of rapidly changing technology or fascists or what have you.

I also like that the biggest threat comes not from the zombies, but from the other survivors. The zombies are more like wild animals that make for a hostile environment rather than the main threats. I think this is good because if your adversary is a zombie, then the antagonist isn't going to have anything in the way of personality.

I'm very excited about AMC producing this. They have good taste. In addition to Mad Men, they do Breaking Bad, which people seem not to have discovered yet. (Perhaps because the first season was cut short by the writer's guild strike?) AMC is also the American partner for the BBC's Hustle. So AMC is involved with three of my top ten current shows, and The Walking Dead on the way, as well as a remake of The Prisoner, in cooperation with ITV. That's the kind of thing that makes me optimistic about the future of television.

Plus: Frank Darabont. Huzzah. I don't know how io9 failed to mention the five episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles he wrote back in '92. That was some quality telly.

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