Kirkman: Frank Darabont leaving The Walking Dead “was a difficult time for the cast”

We talk to the comic book creator about season 2, the fall of civilisation and the possibility of season 3

Recently, we were lucky enough to hit the set of The Walking Dead Season 2 – check out issue 60 of SciFiNow next week for a giant cover feature on the show – and during that we had the chance to conference call with comic book creator Robert Kirkman, who helped shed light on the dismissal of executive producer Frank Darabont.

“I can’t really speak to what exactly happened in particular, just because that’s really a matter between AMC and Frank Darabont, and frankly I’m not really privy to all of the details in exactly why things happened when they happened myself, so anything I say would be mostly speculation and hearsay anyway,” he explains. “But I will say that [new showrunner] Glen Mazzara being able to take over has been kind of a godsend. Frank and I worked with Glen Mazzara shoulder-to-shoulder, from the very beginning this season, and it was the three of us working with the writers that plotted this season out, and to have Glen come in and take over has been just a seamless transition.

“It was a difficult time for the cast and all that’s happened. Frank got this show off the ground, and it was definitely a hard thing to swallow, but Glen has been able to win everyone over and hit the ground running, and I’m very confident that we’re making an awesome television show in spite of it all. I think the second season is going to really blow people away and I’m anxious to get people watching it.”

Kirkman is also pleased with the way his books have been adapted for television. “Honestly, I’m very happy to say that I don’t think there’s anything that it hasn’t captured from the graphic novel,” he says. “You know, content-wise, it’s not in black-and-white so I guess there’s that, but I think that every important aspect of the graphic novel is translating pretty fantastically. When I watch the show, I definitely get a sense of, ‘this is The Walking Dead. This is what I intended in the books, these are the types of stories that I set out to tell’.”

While season 2 will be even darker than season 1, Kirkman is adamant that The Walking Dead will retain something positive for viewers to latch onto, no matter how many people are eaten. “There will always be a sense of hope in this show. So it’s not going to be the bleakest, most depressing thing you’ve ever seen. That said, just following the story naturally as we delve deeper and deeper into the fall of civilisation and they get further out in the timeline where there is less food and there is less of society intact, the world is going to get more dangerous, the situations are going to get more dire…as this show progresses it should get increasingly dark at times. If there is a season three, and so far things are already looking good, we’ve already started talking about a lot of the things in season three and the show’s going to remain intense and get a little bit more intense as the story progresses. I think that season two will be a little darker than season one was, and I think season three will continue that trend.”

Season 2 of The Walking Dead starts on Friday 21 October on FX UK. Issue 60 of SciFiNow, with our huge feature on the show, is available on 26 October.