This is our final feature from my recent conference call with The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara. I saved this for after the finale, as it mentions characters that were likely to survive, so here is a Spoiler Warning for those that have not seen the season 2 finale.

For everyone else, continue reading to hear about Glen Mazzara's plans for season 3 and beyond:

Season 3 Pacing

Glen Mazzara: “It was always my intention to amp up the pace [in Season 2] and I think that our episodes have been better crafted as having a beginning, middle, and hopefully a great punch at the end. That's something that I think is important to The Walking Dead. I think we've cracked it and I'm very happy with storytelling and the density of these episodes.

We will still have slower episodes. We will have character felt episodes… but I do think that the pacing for the Season 3 really feels like freight train.”

Comic versus Show

Glen Mazzara: “There are characters or stories in Robert Kirkman's book that we're excited about writing for Season 3 and seasons beyond. We take that material as inspiration, but we have to put our own twist on it. We're all fans of the book and Robert obviously is an executive producer and writer on the show, so he's involved in all these creative decisions. We're all excited about writing this material, so I think one of the things that I really wanted to focus on is to get closer to the spirit of the comic book.

[The comic] is visual, shocking, exciting, a page turner and that's something that we've really wanted to get closer to so that it's a more faithful adaptation, at least spirit-wise, not necessarily story-wise.”

Extreme Violence

Glen Mazzara: “We have to be careful not to show any human on human violence in a gratuitous way. I think if you look at the show these past few episodes we really earned those moments of violence.

We try to make them as heartbreaking as possible and that's where the show lives. We're not here for shock value, that's not what we're delivering and that's not my intention. So I think that you have to pick those moments. I'll admit when we've looked ahead, we do have very shocking, graphic moments, but they're all earned and they all mean something.”

Comic Book Audience

Glen Mazzara: "We’re very aware of the comic book audience. If you look at Shane's death in the comic book, Carl shoots human Shane and Rick executes zombie Shane. We had the reverse and thought that was a nice playful twist to still orchestrate a scene, but in a way that a comic book fans would be surprised. That's something that we intend to do as we start using some of the more famous storylines from The Walking Dead comic book.

We realize fans have an expectation of certain material and we realize that fans might get frustrated if we deviate too much for material. We’re going to do it our way, in a way that makes sense in the rules of our world. We hope that fans enjoy it because we are fans of the comic book and we sort of feel like we get to play with all this material that Robert Kirkman has created. So it's something that we take very seriously and something that we really give a lot of consideration to."

Daryl in Season 3

Glen Mazzara: “… I would certainly lean on that character heavily. I think Norman has done a fantastic job. That character is not established in the comic books and Norman has really brought that character to life.

I’m very happy with that character’s arc in the season. He has took on this quest to find Sophia. He failed. I think he questioned whether or not he ever had a chance. He withdrew from the group and now he’s plugged in through violence. We see him beating Randall. We see that is able emotionally disconnect and put down Dale to do what even Rick hadn’t done.

So yes, he is a viable leader. He is a viable number two. There’s certainly not the personal baggage that Shane had, so I do think that, moving ahead that character that would play a prominent role. You know, Daryl is the character that is, in a sense, pre-adapted to the apocalyptic world and he seems to be the most qualified to survive.

Carl in Season 3

Glen Mazzara: “We do have a strong story line for him in Season 3. We are very interested in showing how he is growing up in this world and the tension that leads between him and rest of the group.

Chandler has done a fantastic job and has really brought this character to life in a way that works. So yes, he certainly will be featured.”

Season 3, Future Seasons and the Series Finale

Glen Mazzara: “At the end of the second season I sat down and wrote a big paper on what I wanted season 3 to be. It included what characters we were introducing, what story lines, and inspirations. I shared that with the writing staff so that they could think about it over Christmas.

And then they came back and we used the spirit of it all and as everybody started contributing, this thing started evolving and morphing, and changing. It just got a thousand times better. That document that I wrote really does bring us into season 4 and I’ve spoken with Robert on what I feel is the series finale.

So this is something that we make up as we go along. We are stitching beads together…

Robert hopes the show never ends. He’d like it to be like the comic book and go on for 30 years. I don’t know if that’s plausible, but I do have a feeling of where this show ends. I’m excited to tell the story. We’re just starting to write season 3 now. We know pretty much the entire arc of season 3 almost beat by beat.

Certainly pushing into season 4, I have ideas and then skipping ahead to the end of the series I have very strong ideas. But, I’m also open to all of the writers and producers and AMC contributing to that, so I’m sure that what finally ends up being shot and filmed and aired will be very, very different. But that’s just part of the process and I’m open to collaborating with everyone."


To catch up on the previous features from our recent conference call with Glen Mazzara, visit the following stories:

Also, don't forget that Glen Mazzara is hosting a Twitter Q&A session this evening. For more information, visit: