Walking Dead Zombie Comic may come to TV

Posted on August 27, 2009

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walking dead

The Walking Dead is like The Simpsons with zombies, according to writer Robert Kirkman, whose popular comic book series is set to make the jump to television.

“The Walking Dead is the zombie movie that never ends, essentially,” Kirkman says. “Most zombie movies are about a group of characters dealing with extenuating circumstances and extreme conditions, until the length of the movie runs out and then they hop into a helicopter and it goes off. Watching those movies, I always thought the interesting part is, ‘What do they do next?’”

Kirkman tackled that question in 2004, when the first issue of The Walking Dead groaned into being, groggy from an ambiguously defined zombie apocalypse. But rather than draft a boring shooter, Kirkman extended the scenario to fully explore its storytelling possibilities.

That cerebral approach to a gory cliché paid off for Kirkman, who handed off the comic to AMC after a bidding war. The cable channel picked up the hot Image Comics property to go along with its expanding slate of original programming, which includes Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the upcoming reboot of Patrick McGoohan’s ’60s spy-fi series The Prisoner, which lands in November. It’s a deal that worked out for everyone.

“It allows us to stay where we want to stay: in the world of smart, sophisticated storytelling,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior vice president of original programming, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

The television adaptation will be written, directed and produced by Frank Darabont, who helmed The Blob, The Fly and A Nightmare on Elm Street, and is remaking Ray Bradbury’s immortal Fahrenheit 451. Gale Anne Hurd, who brought to life The Terminator and Alien Nation, will executive-produce.

It’s a competent core group responsible for bringing to life, pardon the pun, the undead comic, which stretches zombie convention to its breaking point.

Although the production is still in the formative stage, The Walking Dead could do for televised zombies what True Blood has done for televised vampires, which is make them interesting for longer than a few hours.

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