Between the immensely popular "The Walking Dead" series and Cinemax's upcoming "Outcast," executive producer Robert Kirkman has immersed himself in television shows based on his works. However, he hasn't lost sight of the comic books that led him to this; in fact, during an interview with RollingStone, he revealed that he has an ending in mind for "The Walking Dead" comic series and promised that the show would never spoil the comics.
"For the books? I know how the story wraps up," he revealed. "The big question is when and how far in the distance that is. But I think that most people think, oh, why would he end it? It's so successful, he's going to keep throwing shit at the wall to keep it going. And that's not going to happen. You'll eventually be able to see that it all kind of comes together."
As to whether he would allow the show to spoil the books, much like "Game of Thrones," he added, "I would never do that. That's the one thing I'm disappointed in George R.R. Martin for doing. He should have just been like, 'Fuck you. You make it up now, I'll get to mine when I'm ready.'"
He also addressed the season seven cliffhanger, where the show cut out before it revealed who Negan had killed. "We knew that people might be upset, but come on! Everybody wants to see what happened. That's what a cliffhanger is," he said. "I'll probably get crucified for this, but I feel like there's a culture of instant gratification now: Netflix, social media, everything is on demand at all times. Nothing is withheld. You can't do 52 episodes a year. It's just not feasibly possible. If you can do something that has people talking about your show in that gap between seasons, that's great. We just ask that if you've enjoyed the show so far, just know, Season Seven is going to be pretty great."
After recalling the influence of George Romero's work on his own, Kirkman expressed his hope to someday meet the "Night of the Living Dead" director. "I would love to do that," he shared. "I watched him go into a bathroom at Comic-Con one time, when 'Walking Dead' was still [just] a comic, and I thought: Should I be that guy and try to talk to George Romero? I waited for a bit for him to come out, then I had to go do a panel or something. I don't know if he even likes the show. I took this thing he developed and turned it into a goofy soap opera, so ... I'm a firm believer that, you know, Stephanie Meyer is to Bram Stoker as Robert Kirkman is to George Romero. [laughs] I'm more interested in people kissing than biting each other."
As to why zombies continue to captivate fans, he explained, "It's the global economic crisis, income inequality, the post-9/11 world. Everyone is scared shitless. It's not the worst time ever to be alive, but you know, it's tough out there. I feel like if you worry everyday about the world around you and then you go home and watch a guy get chased by zombies -- it's like, well, could be a lot worse. Listen, if I could wave a magic wand and make the world a better place and make 'Walking Dead' less successful, I would wave it without hesitation. I feel like I'm a misery profiteer sometimes."
He also discussed "Outcast," the television series adapted from his comic with artist Paul Azaceta, and recalled the time he witnessed an exorcism. "All right, fine. I witnessed an exorcism while I was at that church [with my mother]," he shared. "I don't like talking about it. This person was spitting and biting and growling and all kinds of crazy stuff. I don't remember being scared. It seemed almost normal to me: 'Right, they're getting a demon out of that person.' When my mother was in her very religious phase, it was explained to me that people that are sick actually have demons in them making them sick. Weird shit like that. I wouldn't say it messed with my mind. It was an interesting thing. I witnessed an exorcism."
"No one had really dealt with the long-term exploration of how people would deal with a zombie epidemic before we did 'The Walking Dead,' and I feel like this is sort of the same thing," he continued. "No one has really treated demonic possession like a solvable problem. Maybe it's something that a community could be proactive in terms of treating, instead of reactive. That's where the show is eventually going to go. It's terrifying to think there could be a thing out there that could go inside of you and make you not you. That's something that we all deal with, to a certain extent. I think back to how I was as a 19-year-old, and how all my life experiences have changed who I am -- and if I met him, I don't know if we'd get along. He's probably an asshole."
Starring Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister, Wrenn Schmidt, David Denman, Reg. E Cathey and Melinda McGraw, "Outcast" season one has a 10-episode order. The series will premiere on June 3.