Robert Kirkman has had massive success adapting his comic book properties to television — with both “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” breaking ratings records at AMC — but with Cinemax’s adaptation of “Outcast,” audiences will soon see the non-zombie side of Kirkman — the exorcism side.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman discussed the differences in adapting “Outcast” to television — distinguishing the series as a show about characters with an end goal in mind, as opposed to the endless survivor story of “The Walking Dead.” “‘Outcast’ is about people treating demonic possession as a solvable problem. So as opposed to performing an exorcism and leaving, packing up your stuff like, ‘Call me up when the next one happens,’ these people are going to be engaged in what’s actually going on, how to prevent it, and how to stop it once and for all.”
Describing the main character of the series, Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), Kirkman said, “So he has abilities that aid him in these exorcisms, but they’re very unique and I would say far more violent than a typical exorcist would be, which is very interesting because he’s going to be exorcizing a wide range of people, including a small child in our first episode, which I think is gonna be something people are talking about, let’s just say that.”
As for the graphic nature of the series, Kirkman revealed that he was surprised they were able to adapt the violent exorcism scene involving a child (pictured above) from his comic — owing the success of the scene to director Adam Wingard. “There was a lot of concern on my part in terms of what we would allowed to get away with, and what we would be able to accomplish in a realistic way,” said Kirkman. “Because when you see two people that are much different sizes interacting in that way, it could end up being possibly a little unbelievable. But we were able to avoid that entirely. It’s a pretty remarkable scene. I’m excited for people to check it out.”
Kirkman said “Outcast” is more similar to its source material than “The Walking Dead,” but indicated that the series will expand concepts and characters from his original series a little further: “When it comes to the show, what we’re doing is expanding that world quite a bit, giving the characters much more to do and definitely rounding out the town of Rome, West Virginia, a little more – taking what’s in the comic and adding to it in some really cool and interesting ways. It’s not like ‘The Walking Dead,’ where we do completely different things.”
You can head over to EW for the full interview with Kirkman.
“Outcast” debuts on Cinemax sometime in 2016.
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