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[TV] Robert Kirkman Tells Us Why We Never See The Zombies Take Over In “The Walking Dead”

It’s interesting that this comes up today because I was just writing an article (out tomorrow) that sort of touches on this. While we wait for Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead to return in 2013, comic creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman is talking about something we’ll never see on the show, and that’s the beginning of the outbreak. That whole “zombies taking over the world” part that Rick missed when he was in a coma.

Kirkman told TV Guide, “I don’t find that to be interesting at all. In zombie fiction, you see the outbreak, you see the first days and the craziness in almost every other story told in this realm. I’m very proud of the fact that, for the most part, The Walking Dead has skipped over that part.

What’s a close approximation of what such a thing may have looked like in the “Walking Dead” universe? ““Go watch Zach Snyder’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ movie to see the early days of this, or ‘Shaun of the Dead’ does it really well.” Given the grim tone of the show, I’m guessing it’s closer to the former film.

I didn’t miss seeing this. Are you happy that they chose to skip this step?



  • Kroork

    I Love that they skipped over that whole part. I wouldn’t mind seeing flashbacks of people and what they did during the first few days but not have it focus on the outbreak Specifically but just have it more focused on the personal things people went through.

    But like I said, Ultimately I’m happy they skipped over it like Evan said there are lots of movies out there that show what those few days were like

  • djblack1313

    i don’t agree with Kirkman at all. not at all. one reason why i’m so excited for WORLD WAR Z (even though it’s going to be PG-13) is because we’re going to see the start of the outbreak on a MASSIVE GLOBAL SCALE!! no movie/show has ever done that. we only get brief segments, quick flashbacks or very quick “news reports” of the outbreak.

  • Kainrich

    I disagree also. The original Dawn of the Dead is my favorite of the zombie genre, because the film takes place in between the dead taking over. You get to see the world plummet into madness. I can’t believe he mentioned the shitty 04 remake, I hate that movie!(No offense, to those of you who do, i know SOME of you do).

    I guess with the Walking Dead series it’s alright to skip over the “madness”, as it’s not really important to the story going on.

  • Kroork

    Lol yeah I LOVE the dawn of the dead remake. It sparked my interest in zombies. Before that movie I HATED all zombie movies. Now I like Quite a bit 🙂 new and old 🙂

    • djblack1313

      Krook, SAME HERE!! before the DAWN remake & 28 DAYS LATER i hated zombie films. hated them. then i watched those 2 movies and i FELL IN LOVE with all things zombie/infection. in fact i watched the DAWN remake 4 times in the theater. i love it so much! it’s still in my top 5 movies ever! but i love nearly all zombie/infection movies now.

      • Kainrich

        Despite my feeling towards it now, I too saw it in theaters multiple times. I guess i’d say it’s one of those movies for me that was good seeing in theaters, not so much at home. I don’t like the idea of the outbreak only taking a few short days to engulf the whole planet. In the original DAWN, i got the sense that the outbreak lasted months, if not years. I go by the fact that Dawn was a sequel to the original Night of the Living Dead, which came out 12 years after the original.

        Btw, one sweet thing about the remake is that is that it has cameos from the original stars Ken Foree and Scott Reiniger 🙂

  • KidNickles

    I TOTALLY disagree with Kirkman…IMO telling the story of the madness and what happened in the beginning of everything is kind of one of the most important parts of a zombie story. Him skipping over it leaves a HUGE and VERY IMPORTANT part of the story out, and for him to leave it out, its kind of like a little kid asking you “why is the sky blue?” and you say “just because.” I mean its fucking stupid. Instead of giving the details to show you how the world fell into such darkness he just is kind of like “ya, there’s a zombie outbreak, we’re not going to tell you why or how, there’s an outbreak JUST BECAUSE.” This was a VERY lazy way of having to fill in a lot of the missing blanks or to avoid answering all the questions about the genesis of the outbreak…what a lazy fucking asshole 🙁

    • djblack1313

      KidNickles, THANK YOU!! i gree word.for.word. Kirkman’s nonchalant attitude on this subject actually pissed me off too. his skipping completely over this part just tells me he had no original ideas or talent to actually tell that part of the story. he’d rather continue with the soap opera than get down to the nitty gritty.

      i DO like the show but i think Kirkman is dead wrong on this.

      • weresmurf

        You must’ve shat bricks watching movies like Reservoir dogs and no country for old men…

  • Droolbear

    I for one am glad their not going to dive into that area. How many times have showing the backstory, ruined the original idea? Look at how Rob Zombie destroyed the myth behind Michael Myers by showing his life growing up in an abusive home, maiming and killing small animals then progressing onto people? It took away the mystery of how Michael was perceived. Hell, look at what Midichlorians did to the whole Force thing, as well, Darth Vader being a pussy mama’s boy now. Why not just let your own imagination create its own backstory and enjoy the current one? Are we that lazy of a society that we need everything spelled out for us? I don’t have a problem with say small flashbacks, only if necessary to convey what or why the actor is currently doing and for what reason. But to dive into an entire backstory only hurts in what you may want to do in the future, it limits what you can do later on. If you write a backstory, it will be considered as ‘the bible’, forever etched in stone, and you know the fanboys will just bitch and whine if you make a mistake in the continuity of the whole story line.

  • montagmoi

    Haha.. people bitching about Kirkman and then praising Snyde’s Dawn Of The Dead remake. Kirkman has made a valuable contribution to zombie lore, Snyder churned out an MTV movie with a ridiculous amount of slo-mo. Shaun Of The Dead is an excellent film that draws on and respects zombie films without pandering to the ‘lots-o-‘splosions’ crowd, The DOTD remake was just something that made some money. Tyler Bates soundtrack wasn’t bad though 😀

    • djblack1313

      thankfully most people don’t agree you. but whatever. LOL. 🙂

  • HorrorManiac666

    I’m kind of glad he didn’t tell how the outbreak started.

  • Canucklehead

    Hardly a lazy decision to leave that out. What it does do is leave it to your imagination to ponder. These days that seems awfully difficult for people to do, but in the end isn’t that what makes stories so good, is what is left out of them for you to fill in the missing pieces?

  • lulukatrina

    I feel like skipping over all the psuedo-science and fake technical babble wasn’t a total bad move. Leaving that level of ambiguity to it leaves it up to the audience to imagine the initial pandemonium, and we can’t be laughing at a ridiculous explanation for a zombie outbreak if one doesn’t exist. Plus, the story focuses more on the characters and what this unique stressful situation does to them and their relationships, and less about the gore and zombies themselves in my opinion.

  • Mives

    Very few zombie movies have ever touched on the start of the outbreak and if they have it has been very light. DotD remake did well during the opening credits with some outstanding extras on the DVD. I would dearly love to see a bombardment of news clips, you tube video, U.N general assembly all trying to discern what is happening. Basically a nice big fat “Great Panic” except with the out standing make-up effects of the Walking Dead. That would be epic and so would the budget for such a thing which AMC clearly has issues with.

  • wildgator25

    The thing that most people don’t understand is one of the primary reasons Kirkman leaves the Zombies’ beginning out. The Zombie outbreak is the backdrop for The Walking Dead. The walking dead are the humans that are left in this “apocalypse”. The Zombies are merely introduced to accelerate the demise of the living humans. They are there to instill fear, which in turn changes the remaining living humans for good or bad. You can’t have one without the other.

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