The passionate and vocal fans of The Walking Dead will often let you know that they enjoy the TV show most when it follows the story originally told in the comic books. Those fans may be surprised to hear that rather than any showrunner or TV writer, when those story lines are altered for the AMC adaptation it’s creator Robert Kirkman who wants to make the biggest changes.
The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple calls the TV series “a remix” of the comic books before explaining where the differences spawn.
As fans with knowledge of the books know, the show stays true to the comics in its overarching scheme but tends to deviate with some major character moments, including killing off certain characters ahead of their comic book death or keeping them alive longer than the comics did. Some of the more notable swaps have been Tyreese’s comic book death being handed off (or headed off) to Hershel and Dwight’s slaying of Abraham with an arrow targeting Denise, instead.
Gimple tries to keep everyone happy with his style behind-the-scenes.
“Over the years, I integrated it with my own thinking, as long as we fulfill the spirit of the comic story,” Gimple explains. “We are looking to generate the same emotions and have a very direct interpretation of moments in the book — even if it’s completely different — but still achieving the comic story. That’s what I’ve followed all these years, and at the end of Season 6, it’s very much in line with that.”
Perhaps Kirkman sees the TV series as a do over? A way to right what he sees as wrongs? Keeping Shane alive longer than his comic book counterpart was one of the best decision the show could have made and keeping Abraham alive might be his way of furthering exploring the character beyond his issue #97 limits.
The stakes have never been higher when it comes to delivering a satisfying story to the original fans heading into season 7. The iconic moments which follow Negan stepping out of from the RV will determine a lot of fans’ loyalty going forward. If things don’t go their way, they now know who to blame.
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on October 23. For insider info and more all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.
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