As The Walking Dead
approaches war with the Saviors versus pretty much everyone else, comics fans are growing concerned. The Walking Dead
is getting pretty close to the current storyline of the comics. (The comic arc covering the war between Negan and Rick begins somewhere around issue 120 and the comics are currently around issue 170.) It's not much more ground to cover but in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter
the producers of the series said there is no chance of The Walking Dead
surpassing its source material. Instead the show has other plans with how to deal with the encroaching deadline.
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Scott Gimple, the man behind The Walking Dead as a TV series, has no worries about charting brand new territory for the show. When asked directly if the TV show would outpace the comics, the showrunner responded, "With some plans we have for the future, I don't think so. I think it's unlikely, but it depends where the book stops."
There is no danger of the books stopping either because they are nearly as successful as the TV show but on a much smaller scale. Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead and its sole comic scribe, 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. 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. There's not any danger of that happening in any way."
Combining Gimple and Kirkman's comments it sounds that The Walking Dead is going to explore something major that happened in the source material but was quite literally skipped over. After the comics' arc of the war between Rick and the Saviors ended, there was a pretty significant time jump. Rick and the rest of Alexandria enjoyed peace for several years after defeating Negan. The show doesn't look as if it plans to employ a similar time jump.
In an earlier interview with the Hollywood Reporter
, Gimple talked about the time jump and said, "I will say there are things that happen in that time jump that are referred to that are super interesting. And thus we might see some of that stuff; it might not be the same sort of jump, or we'll do that two to five years in real time."
This wouldn't be unprecedented for the show. Half of season 6 took place over roughly the course of one day. As Kirkman mentioned, the show also has a tendency to greatly extend events from the comics and go in different directions. The long stretches of the show that took place at the Greene Family Farm and the prison are two the most famous (or infamous) examples.
It is certainly possible for The Walking Dead to take its time so it doesn't overtake the comics but it might not be prudent. The aforementioned slower sections of the show are some of the most widely criticized by fans and critics alike. It may turn a great many fans off if things come to a screeching halt after war with the Saviors. Rick and the gang might deserve some peace but it probably won't make for great TV.
But what do you think? Would you like to see The Walking Dead slow down after the war with the Saviors concludes? Do you think the show should outpace the comics and go in a brand new direction or stay on course?
(Image courtesy of AMC)