There are still four episodes left in “The Walking Dead” Season 3, but it’s never too early to start talking about the upcoming Season 4. The show’s writers recently presented their ideas for the next chapter of the ongoing zombie survival drama to its producers, and Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd told Comic Book Resources that fans should start preparing themselves for what’s in store.
“We’ve always been sort of moving in and out of the comic book, and I think that we’re going to continue to do that. I think that there are huge elements of the comic book in Season 3. Moving into Season 4, it’s going to be pretty much the same,” Kirkman told CBR on the Paleyfest red carpet. “There’s going to be a lot of things that fans recognize from the comics. It’s going to be a lot of new elements pushed in, and it’s going to make for a really good show like it always has been.”
Asked how Season 4 will be able to top the human threat of the Governor — if, of course, he is defeated by the end of Season 3 — Hurd said that the writers are working on just that. However, she teased that the first eight episodes of Season 4 will remind audiences that the undead remain just as big a threat to Rick and his crew as the other humans populating the post-apocalyptic Georgia are.
“We are going to amp up the threat of the walkers, because they’ve started to seem like a manageable threat. They are not a manageable threat,” she said. “But, it is the people who you think you can trust who betray you, that you have to fear. It is the monster inside you. We all have them. How do we keep them in check?”
Asked for elaboration, Hurd implied that someone from within Rick’s camp is going to turn on him. “You never know who is going to, you know, who is going to be the one who’s had enough. Like, Shane saw Rick as a threat to their survival. He’s not the only one who’s going to have those feelings.”
Another major change is coming in Season 4, albeit one that’s behind rather than in front of the camera as Scott Gimple takes over from former showrunner Glen Mazzara. Gimple has acted as a writer and supervising producer on “The Walking Dead” since Season 2, and Greg Nicotero described his take on the series as returning it to its “classic” roots — i.e., Frank Darabont’s Season 1.
“It’s his whole life. This is his world,” Hurd said of Gimple’s relationship to “The Walking Dead.” “The show is the show, we just bring it to life. It’s almost like it’s got a life of its own, and he’s channeling it. He’s very character-driven; he wrote the episode where Sofia comes out of the barn, he wrote [the Season 3 episode] ‘Clear,’] so you get his voice.
“I think the characters are going to really have a lot of difficult things thrown at them that they’re going to have to deal with,” Hurd continued. “But there’s going to be no shortage of action, either!”
“The Walking Dead” airs on AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Season 4 starts production in Atlanta on May 6.