Kirkman offers no road map for 'The Walking Dead'
This image released by AMC shows Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in a scene from the season four premiere of "The Walking Dead," airing Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/AMC, Gene Page)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nothing's been as hard for Robert Kirkman as killing off Glenn.
Not only did he do away with a beloved character in the comic book version of "The Walking Dead," he knew he'd eventually have to face actor Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn on the hit AMC zombie apocalypse television series. Although the series departs from its source material, he knew Yeun would wonder about his fate on Season 4, which begins Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT.
"It was really strange for me writing that, knowing that Steven was going to read it," Kirkman said. "There was a concern like I didn't want Steven to read it and think I was mad at him."
Lucky for Yeun, then, that Kirkman isn't like George R.R. Martin. When fans went bonkers over the season-ending "Game of Thrones" episode "Red Wedding," Martin, author of the books the series is based on, chided fans they needed only to read his novels to know what was coming. Kirkman gives his watchers, readers — and actors — no such road map.
This image released by AMC shows Steven Yeun as Glenn in a scene from "The Walking Dead," premiering Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/AMC, Gene Page)
Kirkman and the show's creators long ago decided to veer away from the source material in key places, so Glenn's sudden passing in the pages of pivotal issue No. 100 — we're not going to tell you anything more, but rest assured it's spectacularly terrible — did not mean Yeun's days are numbered on the show. Necessarily.
"No, there's never reassurances on the show," Yeun confirmed. "Obviously, I would like to keep it going as long as possible, but it would be fun to go out that way too. ... At first when I read it I was like, 'Wow.' I thought it was brave. I thought it was terrifying. I actually loved it. I mean what a way to take a beloved character away from the readers, just snatch it away."
The Season 3 finale, which drew a cable dramatic series record 12.4 million viewers, left the comic book's fans in a titter as the epically megalomaniacal bad guy The Governor mowed down most of his followers with an automatic rifle and fled, very much alive. At that point, the show took a hard turn from the comic where the showdown with The Governor had a very final conclusion.