What's next for 'Walking Dead'?
Sunday's season finale of "The Walking Dead" – though it was an excitement-filled hour – certainly left viewers with a lot more questions as to what the next season will look like.
Executive producer Glen Mazzara spoke with reporters on Tuesday to shed a little light on what to expect. For starters, just how much will we see of the prison that was shown in the final shot of the season?
"I do think that prison is a significant storyline," Mazzara said, adding that the prison will not just be a major setting for the third season (premiering in October), but the fourth as well.
"But we're interested also in opening up the world. You know, the Governor [to be played by David Morrissey] has a world of [Woodbury, Georgia]. There are other factors out there in the world, other groups. So I think that Rick's group is really stumbling into a much larger world."
There's also that mysterious helicopter seen at the start of the finale. Mazzara actually tweeted about that one, saying it will show up again next season.
With new characters like Michonne and the Governor grabbing the spotlight in the fall, what about two of the most memorable characters who haven't been seen since the first episode? "We still have Morgan and Duane out there. We're interested in them."
The pacing of the second half of the season was quicker (after some criticism from fans), but Mazzara said that was just a coincidence.
"I'll admit I, and all of us, were surprised that some of those episodes were criticized for being slower, that the pace was so slow, because I’m happy with those episodes and I didn't see the pace as so slow," he said. "I just thought that that was the revealing itself to us, that if any story has its own weight and its own merit, that's the way that story was being told. People gave it a few episodes before that criticism really landed for us. But we had shot everything. So it was always our intention in the first half to land on the big revelation of [Sophia] coming out of the barn and I think that was a very successful episode."
Mazzara has no intention of slowing things down too much next season.
"We're going to have a breakneck pace. We're going to have deep character moments and people are going to have to catch up with the show," he said. "We are interested in having things happen off screen and then people say, well, wait, how did this happen, how did that happen? We think our audience is very intelligent. We think our fans are dedicated and we really, really want to make it a satisfying experience. So I think people, again, by keeping the story telling simple, by not having a very complicated mythology, allows us to give people an access point for season three."
One thing that can be expected is, of course, the unexpected.
"Week by week we want to keep throwing curve balls at the audience, so you never know what kind of episode you're going to get. We are constantly playing with people's expectations because that's what horror movies do."