For the second part this week’s Walking Dead interview session, Steven Yeun had to leave to catch a flight. However, that gave us extra time to talk with showrunner Glen Mazzara about what we can expect from upcoming episodes. Continue reading to learn about the structure of future episodes, a new character, and zombie infection:
You previously mentioned that you have no plans to explore the science behind the zombie outbreak beyond what we saw toward the end of the first season. Is that still the case?
Glen Mazzara: We’re not going to learn more scientific information about the virus. That was a unique sort of circumstances that they were talking to a scientist at the CDC.
I think the story that we’re interested in telling is more in line with Robert Kirkman’s book, in which everyday people have very, very limited information. It’s about what do they do with that limited information, so we will have characters trying to figure out the nature of the virus.
We introduce a character named Milton that will be part of The Governor’s crew who is trying to solve the walker problem, but he’s not a scientist. So it’s really about people with no answers trying to make do.
With there being a time gap between the end of Season 2 and the start of Season 3, will we learn about what happened during that time?
Glen Mazzara: The time jump was necessary for two reasons. One, we wanted to advance the story to the point where Lori is about to give birth. We felt that it applied a tremendous amount of pressure on the group. Two is production-related. We pick up shooting in the summer and we didn’t feel that it would be plausible to try to fake winter or something like that.
I am interested in shooting a winter sometime and perhaps if we change the production schedule in a future season or whatever, I think that would be interesting. This time I felt that it was worthwhile to have the time jump and let the audience try to catch up.
I’m not interested in going back and doing any flashback episodes about what happens to this group and how they got there. You’re seeing the story that we want to tell and we have a great story for Season 3 that we’re excited about. I think we’ve picked the right entry point and the story is about moving forward in the next 15 episodes.
Why did you make the decision to focus on the prison for the first two episodes and did you consider it risky given what you had been teasing so far?
Glen Mazzara: No, no. I think those teasers are teasing the season, so I think that’s fair game and stuff that’s coming up. The season’s pretty well constructed as far as the flow of what we want people to think at one point and then when we introduce new characters.
So there’s a method to the madness and, I think at the end of the run, people will find that it was satisfying. It was important was to show the character development of the core group. We care about these characters; it’s Rick’s story and we need to see what that prison means for them.
In a way, those first two episodes really show the amount of sacrifice and emotionally what it means for everybody. And once that’s up and running, then that’s a great base to jump off from and we’ll introduce other characters and other storylines. It’s a very thought out plan and I just hope the audience goes along for the ride and responds and enjoys it as much as we do.
Can we expect a similar kind of focus for future episodes? You have no problem just focusing on a couple characters rather than showing us everything each episode?
Glen Mazzara: Yes that’s true. We’re telling a grand story over 16 episodes. So there are some episodes that will be only in the prison, there are some episodes that will only be at Woodbury. There are some episodes in which Michonne does not appear and there are some episodes in which Rick does not appear.
It’s really about telling the best story every week and making sure that each chapter adds up to a greater whole. There’s so much exciting new stuff coming every week that I don’t think people will end up feeling that they’re being shortchanged on any front. We’re really trying to pack as much story into every episode, so nothing ever feels like a stall. That I promise.
With the audience now aware that anyone who dies becomes a walker, do you plan to play with that more in the new season?
Glen Mazzara: It’s something we’re very mindful of and it’s something that I think we’re going to use to put some very, very surprising twists out there. You know, obviously I can’t give anything away, but it’s a very unique device. It’s something that we’ll certainly play throughout the life of the series.
The other thing is that not everybody knows that information. Rick and his band knows, but it’ll be interesting to see how other people learn that and how that informs what they do, informs how they make decisions. So that’s also in play.
That wraps up the second part of our interview session with Glen Mazzara and Steven Yeun. Check back tomorrow for my early review of episode 3.02 and I’ll also have another set of interviews to discuss that episode next week. Catch up on our recent coverage with the following articles: