Every now and then there's a title that keeps popping up, be it book, comic or film, that everyone in the horror community buzzes about. I'm no comics expert, but over the last year or so the growing ground swell of love for Robert Kirkman's roving zombie comic The Walking Dead reached such a height that I came home one day to find that my wife had bought me the first trade paperback collection. It didn't take long after that for me to realize why everyone loved the comic so much.
I haven't finished the epic series yet (65 issues and going is a daunting task for someone who doesn't read comics all that often), but even a Walking Dead novice like me can appreciate how sweet it is that Frank Darabont will be turning the series into a TV show for AMC. Then again, there isn't much that I wouldn't entrust to the mind of the co-writer of 1988's The Blob, as well as the writer/director of The Mist, a movie that's like heroin to me. Walking Dead devotees, however, are bound to have some concerns over anyone taking their beloved comic and adapting it to a commercially-interrupted cable channel that doesn't even allow the F word.
That's why MTV caught up with series creator Robert Kirkman to peg not only his thoughts on Darabont and AMC, but the precise extent of the writer's involvement in the TV show version of his brain child. Turns out what Kirkman had to say should have most of the Walking Dead lovers putting down their pitchforks right about now.
Kirkman told MTV, "I'm going to be an executive producer on the show, so I'll have my hands all over the thing. But it's important to me that I'm only involved in the show as much my comic book career will allow. I'm excited that there is a television show, and I'm excited that Darabont is involved-and one of the big reasons for that is that I trust him. I don't need to look over his shoulder."
And if that's not enough to quell fears that the property won't live up to its TV potential, particularly on any network that isn't HBO, Kirkman had this to say about The Walking Dead at AMC, "I had no concerns about that whatsoever, because one of the concerns I have about zombie fiction is when they rely too much on the shocking gore aspects. That's not really the point of "Walking Dead," so to a certain extant, I think it will work better at AMC-because it forces people not to rely on that stuff. As far as "Walking Dead" not having teeth on AMC, if you've ever seen [certain episodes of] "Mad Men" or "Breaking Bad," they push a lot of boundaries as far as content goes.
In fact, I just had a meeting with a bunch of the executives at AMC, and Darabont, and Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert at Circle of Confusion, and the executives were talking to Darabont about his script and they said, "You can't use the F-word." That was the only limitation they gave him. We were all stunned."
So there ya' have it, F-bombs are out but decapitations and head shots are still in. Sounds like groovy zombie survivalism to me.