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Q&A: Robert Kirkman spills on “FEAR THE WALKING DEAD”, Confirms August Premiere!

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Let’s be honest: it must be pretty surreal to be Robert Kirkman nowadays. Being one of the creators of the immensely popular WALKING DEAD comic and TV series, he’s since parlayed his momentum onto new comic ventures and even an upcoming Cinemax series, OUTCAST, which will see YOU’RE NEXT vet Adam Wingard helming the pilot. But Kirkman, rarely the type to take a breather, has currently got his eyes on crafting the next chapter of the WALKING DEAD with the highly anticipated spin-off, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. Kirkman recently took part in a conference call to talk about FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, and FANGORIA wrangled some exciting details about the upcoming series…

FANGORIA: When the show was in development, how did you decide on its visual composition? Is it going to look like THE WALKING DEAD or will fans be in for a different experience?

ROBERT KIRKMAN: No, it won’t [look like THE WALKING DEAD]. From day one, one of the things that was most important to us was that FEAR THE WALKING DEAD should stand alone, story-wise, character-wise and taking place in its own corner of the universe. That extends to what our visual take on the show would be, and a big part of that came from Adam Davidson, our director for the pilot of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD and who will be directing many episodes of the show moving forward. He was able to come up with an interesting and unique vision of Los Angeles as a city, and is bringing a whole different flavor to it.

I’m not a director so I’m not able to verbalize it as well as he could, but suffice to say, when you watch FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, it’s going to be very visually different than the way THE WALKING DEAD looks. For starters, this isn’t going to be shot on 16mm film; FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is actually going to be shot digitally, so there’s going to be a very different feel to the show. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait for people to see it.

FANGORIA: Considering FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is taking the audience out of Atlanta and into Los Angeles, should we expect there to be more action and bigger set pieces on the series than what we might see on THE WALKING DEAD?

KIRKMAN: At times, yeah. I think that because we’re in a metropolitan setting and that Los Angeles is a pretty hectic surrounding for our characters, I think there will be cooler set pieces. As far as scale and scope, I think both series will stand on pretty equal footing. When it comes to those types of things, what we have planned for season six of THE WALKING DEAD is pretty epic, but I’ve never considered the kind of competition both shows will have in terms of action.

But I also don’t think THE WALKING DEAD is lacking in big, crazy set pieces, but I think since FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is set in Los Angeles, there’s probably going to be more chaos in the first season and moving into the second season just because we are going to watch civilization crumble. There is a tremendous amount going on and the story is going to move very quickly, so I anticipate FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is going to be more hectic than the first season of THE WALKING DEAD.

FANGORIA: Since so many cable networks are pursuing limited event series, is there any chance that you might explore other parts of the WALKING DEAD universe via that route or are you more so only interested in long term stories like FEAR THE WALKING DEAD should the opportunity rise?

KIRKMAN: There’s always a possibility for [a limited event spin-off], and I certainly wouldn’t rule it out even though I can say there are no current plans to do that. I think everyone is working hard on THE WALKING DEAD and FEAR THE WALKING DEAD to make them the best series they can be, and I think everyone’s happy with their work since we’re all doing our jobs. I’m really excited for FEAR THE WALKING DEAD to debut in August and for people to see just what we’ve done, but we’re not in a hurry to continue expanding the world of THE WALKING DEAD.

It’s important to note that AMC and the producers didn’t rush to capitalize on the success of THE WALKING DEAD until we were going towards our sixth season. We’re not going to be focused on too many different things right now. So let’s see how FEAR THE WALKING DEAD goes first and then we’ll have nine spin-offs, and that’ll be great.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD debuts on AMC this August.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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