In July, readers of The Walking Dead comics got their final surprise from creator Robert Kirkman when it was announced that issue #193 was to be the series’ last installment. Kirkman had reached an endpoint with the story and didn’t want to go on just for the sake of going on.
Presumably the makers of the TV version, who were at that time filming season 10, had more warning about Kirkman’s plans? Den of Geek asked producer Denise Huth.
“Not a ton of warning! Robert tells his stories the way he wants to tell them, so it wasn’t a huge thing that we knew in advance was coming. We were surprised as well,” Huth explains. “I think it was cool how he did it and I get why he did it – of course we all wanted it to go on and on and on – but I certainly understand why he felt it was time to wrap it up.”
The end of the comics doesn’t have to mean the end of the show, emphasizes Huth. “I know a lot of the fans were like ‘Oh my God! The comic ended, that must mean the show’s ending,’ and I don’t think that’s the case. The beautiful thing about adapting a story is the original story always exists, the comic books are always there, this is just a remix, and so we can be current and we can go in a different direction even if we don’t necessarily have a blueprint of the comics to follow anymore.
“There are so many differences between the show and the book now. The show has changed so much from the comic book over time, we have characters that have left that are still in the comics, or characters like Carol who died so very early in the comic books but is still a formidable part of our ensemble. We have characters who aren’t in the comics at all.”
And they could bring back old characters in the planned spinoff films and TV series masterminded by former showrunner Scott Gimple, confirms Huth. “We can go back, yeah. That’s the thing. I get very excited about that. We’ve obviously killed so many phenomenal characters on the show that if there’s ever an opportunity to go back in time and see a little bit of a different version of them before their character actually died I think that would be incredibly exciting.”