Showrunner Scott Gimple revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the TV show will never outpace Robert Kirkman’s comic books. There is no plan for AMC’s zombie drama to overtake its source material like Game of Thrones has.
“There’s not any danger of that happening in any way”, Gimple told THR, although he did also mention one caveat: “It depends where the book stops.”
Of course, fans shouldn’t be too worried about this anyway since Kirkman has previously said that he could do 1000 issues of The Walking Dead if he wanted to. He also told Rolling Stone that he had no plans of telling Gimple or any of the writers how the story ends in the comics. There’s probably a better chance of Gimple leaving the comic book material behind in the show’s final seasons in order to start closing things out for the characters on TV.
Gimple added, “I don’t know if anyone sat down to do the math, but if the show is gaining on the comic book, it’s at a very slow pace.”
It really doesn’t feel like it is, considering that the first half of season 7 was a slow-moving, hyper-focused look into a couple of issues of the book. Condensing storylines has never been one of the show’s strong suits, and it seems like that will continue. Gimple also recently said in an interview that the show might not do the two-year time jump the same way the comics did, so we’ll probably get extra storylines not found in the comics to pad the series’ length a bit.
“We’re expanding storylines so every now and then we zip through the comic book, and then we slow down for a while and add a bunch of stuff that’s not in the comics,” Gimple explained of the storytelling method on the show.
“When we get to season 20, then I think we’ll be caught up. And at that point, we’ll have to have Robert [Kirkman] really pick up the pace [with the comics],” added exec producer David Alpert.
This is definitely not the first time someone has mentioned the extremely optimistic possibility that The Walking Dead could go on for 20 seasons. While the show’s definitely still very popular, it DID just lose seven million viewers in its latest season. History tells us that most of these viewers will NOT return down the line, as evidenced by the weak season 7 finale numbers – the third most poorly-rated finale in the show’s history. Doesn’t quite bode well for 13 more seasons of the show…
Kirkman is more tongue in cheek about it, though. He said in the same interview that, “If we say season 20 too often around Andrew Lincoln, he will murder us, and then you won’t have to worry about anything!”
And rightfully so. Lincoln – and the rest of the original cast for that matter – probably won’t want to keep doing this for another decade and change. Unless we have a Scrubs situation on our hands, this show just simply isn’t going to 20, friends. Kirkman could go to 1000, though.
More The Walking Dead news as we hear it.