Robert Kirkman Wanted Glen Mazzara Off The Walking Dead

Paul January 9, 2013 35

daryl newMany fans of The Walking Dead have been wondering exactly why showrunner Glen Mazzara was given the boot after producing what many would call by far the best episodes of the show to date. There were few ideas as to why this happened until now.

A source explains to THR exactly who had a problem with Mazzara, comic creator Robert Kirkman.

Several insiders confirm that Kirkman, whose detailed graphic novels form the basis of the series, is “very proprietary,” as one puts it. One adds, “I believe Robert wants to maintain a certain amount of his control, and AMC needs Robert for the fan base.” But despite the vitriol, some sources involved with Walking Dead say Kirkman was one of several producers who had issues with Mazzara and his vision.

One source says Mazzara’s shortcomings in running the series during the most recent third season became “abundantly clear…especially for the second half of the season.” This source says production was shut down “several times” because of a lack of material.

To date, Kirkman has responded to the criticism only with a restrained tweet: “@sutterink is brilliant and Sons is my favorite show on TV. Still, it’s upsetting to see him ranting about things he knows nothing about.” AMC declined comment.

So the story is that Kirkman wasn’t a fan of Mazzara, and so that’s why he had to go. I really don’t buy this “AMC needs Robert for the fanbase” thing. Yes, there are viewers who have read the comics, sure, but there are way, way, way more who enjoy the show simply for what it is, a badass show which was recently made more badass by Mazzara.

And having read both, I firmly believe the show has improved upon the comic in many ways, though it may be blasphemy to say that. It seems to me the farther the show gets from the comic, in fact, the better it actually is. For example, keep in mind that perhaps the most beloved character on the show, Daryl, wasn’t even IN the comics.

If AMC starts siding with Kirkman over those who know how to make the TV show pop, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening when their audience departs if we have to sit through another dreary season two.

  • Drew

    I like Season 2! I will admit that the whole Sophia thing got a bit old and Lori pissed me off, but I thought that season rocked! As for Season 3 being far superior, I don’t think it’s any better than the other seasons. What is so great about season 3? Michonne? She’s aight…I personally think they are killing off way too many regulars to show that no one is safe and I get that but if they kill off too many people, it won’t even be the same show.

    • brad

      I think the creator of the walking dead needs to step away . or needs to learn to get along with the showrunners. I have never read the comics and don’t plan on reading them. the second and third seasons are depending to much on gore. the first season that was ran by frank daraborant was the best. because it didn’t relay on gore .

      • Kat

        I never read the comic and I’m not planing to, but I don’t think that the creator should step away. I mean, it’s unbelievably selfish to ask the creator to step away from his own work, he created the whole idea, most of the characters, he portrayed the world we could never imagine in our worst nightmares, and now some idiot wants him to leave because he didn’t invent Daryl? Don’t get me wrong, I love Daryl, he is one of my favorite characters, but his creation (I know he did a lot of other stuff for the show too) is nothing comparing to the entire creation of Robert Kirkman. These people are portraying Kirkman’s work, and he deserves respect, not people telling him to step away from his work of art.

  • Carrie

    As someone who has read the books over and over, yes I did love them, they are so much grittier and deeper than the series, but as is said, Darryl wasn’t in the comics, and he is my favourite character, even bypassing Rick! I was annoyed at first for the series going so off track, the whole governer story so far is nothing like in the book,s but to me, thats a bonus as despite reading all the books, I have no clue as to whats happening next! Kirkman is a genius, but also daft, as season two was soooo dull, keep Mazzara! Ps The fact that they can kill off anyone, and that no-one is safe, well thats just Kirkmans thing dude! ;-)

  • iBryson

    I want my walking DEAD “Now” And if he’s out it better not loose one bit of the luster of the adventure! Ok its Jan 2013 Where the hell is the rest of season 3!

    You have tha English in a lead role (Mr. Rick) You need a second!
    (His wife and best friend dead!)

    You guys are breaking my freakn Heart figure it out Stop pissen and moning and get on with it!

  • http://@agonzo1 anthony gonzalez

    Your point that Daryl isn’t in the comics is a red herring. Mazzara didn’t create Daryl…. ROBERT KIRKMAN DID, lol (and Darabont)

  • andrew lee

    you are totally tripping, the point is that even how badass the show got, it still wasn’t as good as the comic! I think there Robert Kirkman is totally in his right because he made the stories and created the world.. plus once “showrunners” start influencing too much they deviate way far. Yea Darryl wasn’t in the comic, but there are other characters in the comic that should have been introduced, plus the plot twists are way sicker in the comic. I mean the wife should been ate by a hoard of zombies WITH her baby, not the dramatic birth

  • andrew lee

    I totally agree with gonzalez.. daryl isn’t the point. The point is that in a wink of an eye your baby could be turned into something completely different if you dont keep a tight leash on the studios.

  • http://www.paynebyname.com Payne by name

    That’s a shame if it has an impact on the show because season 3 has been a revelation compared to season 2 which was so tediously boring and melodramatic that we nearly didn’t bother tuning in for the next season.

    If Mazarra’s removal reverts the show to the banality of season 2 to placate a creator who’s simply too close to his material to distinguish good from bad (just like Lucas) then it will be a dark day for the franchise.

  • antwayyn

    I gotta be honest, never read the “comics” and never watched the show… but hey, I’ve got a life!

    • Kryik

      Then what’s the point in commenting? Enjoying watching a show or reading a comment doesn’t mean people don’t have lives, dude.

    • Joe G.

      Never understood comments like this – Always assume they are posted by insecure fools who don’t seem to understand that you can’t set yourself apart from people in these forums by saying such things, when YOU ARE IN THE FORUM. If you have to assert you have a life then you most likely don’t.

      This does not in any way show superiority, just idiocy. Don’t watch, don’t read, don’t post. One in every comment section I swear.

      As for season three – it seems too much of the “watch what happens next” hype. I don’t want a slow show full of talking, but I don’t think the answer is constant shock around every turn – sometimes that can kill a show as well.

      Keep this up and I may actually burn out in this show.

  • http://www.autodevis.fr auto devis

    The story keeps moving away from the comics. I am still not sure if that is a good or a bad thing

  • lol

    @antwayy that’s why you’re commenting here?

  • ALLY

    I think Robert should of never left the group he was the Good one there. He help save the baby. The baby would of never survied if he havent got the milk for it would of died. I think robert should leave his brother behine and return to the group because look what he did to Glen and maggie. When maggie dad fines out he is going to feel soo bad for his daughter

    • ALLY

      Who the hell is Robert? Are you talking about Daryl? If you don’t know the characters names, you dont have the right to give input

  • Allly

    IS lori really dead? IS she going to return back to the walking dead and who lives and who going to die?

  • Luis

    That dull comic sucks at so many levels (silly sometimes, boring mostly, absurd more than once, repetitive, unimaginative). TV Series are fine (and very often, great. Just compare, in the first episode, Rick’s way out from the hospital).
    They lost Darabont, and now Mazzara. I shiver.

  • Marshall

    Season 2 wasn’t bad when you watched it all at once, like I did. If you were waiting a week for each episode, though, I can definitely see how it could have been frustrating.

  • eat dirt

    For all those saying how bad the comic is …. if there was no comic there would be no TV show!! I think the show is bad and the whole cast is wrong. The only good thing about the show is Daryl!! What they should have done is something like sin city with people who understand and appreciate the source material.

  • Ayala

    I am a walking dead fan- I read the comic and so far I like the TV series – However, I wish the TV show had stayed true to the comic when it came to the governor and Michonne interaction. The things that the governor did to Michonne in the comic will explain why Michonne hated the governor and wanted to kill him. The TV version was STUPID!! Who ever made the decision to exclude that significant part should quit NOW!

  • Weve

    Honestly the show is going down hill fast.

  • WTF

    What? First off…punctuate! Second, if they stuck to the comic there would be no reason to watch the show. The show keeps some things intact because of references, but they don’t stick to it like the bible because it would be pointless. Why would people watch weekly if they can pick up the comic and read the remaining stories. Are you that stupid?

  • WTF

    Real fans didnt like the second part season 3 opener. It was kind of boring and having Rick alienate all the strong people is insane(Michonne, Tyrese, and Daryl). Andrea is becoming unwatchable and I could care less at this point what is going on this mock town. These people cheered the death match of 2 brothers and they try to show them as CIVILIZED! Andrea was trying to restore peace to a town that wanted to see the blood of 2 human beings spilled and not walkers. That says a lot and if they dont get this show back on track quickly, season 3 will be the final season.

  • ogcali48sc

    I read the comics and loved the first two seasons, but I hate the way the 3rd season is going, especially the start of the second half of the third season.I like the way they killed Shane off but i thought it was stupid how Dale died.I hope they put Daryl back with the group and don’t kill Glenn off like everyone is saying.

  • Adamnyc

    the show is good… but sadly it has deviated from the “original” wich was by far… a much better story.

    when i hear criticism… it often revolves around EXACTLY the points where the the tv show deviates from the original story in season 2. much of what was skipped over in the comics…andrea/dale dynamic, his and loris much better deaths among others… seemed to have been “replaced” by nothing in particular… just grinding some things out for the sake of COST… yeah i said it.

    a user above commented how season 3 has been a “gigantic leap”… it hasnt, when you think about it, all its really done is started to veer back into a bit of the original storyline.

    much of whats missing from the comic… had been resolved in the comic by lots of tragic death by the end of the prison arc.

    frankly… people who have only watched the show have just missed out a bit. still a great a show dont get me wrong.

    sorry, mazzara isnt the one the made the show a success.. its a success despite him.

  • Shredder

    Put it this way. I love the show. Never a fan of the comic book. I would think that if the comic was as good as the show I’d have been waiting at the store for it to arrive. I’m certain that the comic has more ‘late comer’ fans now. After all, who doesn’t want to be the one to say “I was reading this before it was a tv show”.

  • DigitalGeisha

    “I really don’t buy this “AMC needs Robert for the fanbase” thing.”

    It is thinking like that, that robbed the Sci-Fi channel of the Dresden files one of its more beloved shows. If you do not think the fans (those who were fans before the tv show) would not be pissed if Kirkman walked you are sadly mistaken.

  • MP

    I think they brought Daryl and Merle back to the prison too quickly. I wanted to see the brother’s on their own for a little while. It would have added a nice dynamic to the show. I’m sick of Dead Lori, too. The show doesn’t have to be exactly like the comic, but the changes need to make sense.
    Of course, the Governor needed to be toned down, Carl needed to be older, can’t show a zombie eating a baby on TV. etc – I get those changes. But the TV versions of Andrea, Michonne, Axel, and now Tyreese are just terrible.

  • JC

    Please, please kill off Andrea!!! Doesn’t anyone else feel like everything she does turns to s–t? She is constantly messing up what others are trying to do and never never knows what’s going on?? The character is almost so annoying it make me want to stop watching!

  • Carrie

    I was one of the ones reading the comics way before it hit the T.V.screens and I am so disappointed that some things are so off track they aren’t even recogniseable! I agree with others, in the comics Andrea was so friggin awesome, shoot-em-up smiley and positive despite the crap, whereas in the programme

  • Carrie

    Its so gutting that Andrea is a wibbly old misery in the programme, its a CRIME that they never showed why Michonne despised the Guv. and I do wish they had kept Ricks craziness to his son and Michonne, no-one else ever doubted him, he never walked around in a daze chasing ghosts! Ohhh so much I would change, I applaud David Morrissey (one of my fave actors anyways, watch Blackpool! He’s wicked in it!) for stepping up and making the Governor believable for me, especially as the one in the comics was so twisted! (knocking his zombie daughters teeth out so he could snog her!yum!) but please please bring the show back to its former glory! And just to add, no, Darryl wasn’t in the comics which used to annoy me lol, but he is pretty damned cool. :-) Hope he gets some action finally with Carol…..

  • MsTweetie

    @WTF…. “Real fans didnt like the blah, blah, blah” WTF?! Speak for yourself buddy. Who are the “real fans” compared to the non-real ones?

  • Sha

    I think that Kirkman was great at writing comics but he should let the people that are making the Walking Dead on TV great do their jobs which is TV and they are doing a wonderful job at it. Yes it’s Kirkmans groundwork but it’s the producers, directors, actors, etc that are making the show great beyond a comic. It’s my favorite show and I hope they keep stepping out of the box some because it’s making a great comic into a great show. And I love the Character Darryl. Ultimately they should keep Mazzara he’s an awesome producer.

  • Rickshaw

    Glen, really? All they want to do is replace his actor. He had a good opening as one of the first to meet Rick, but after that just kind of a lame performer, even his sex/love scenes are weak.

    They killed Dale, Shane, Lori, among others and the Glen Character is to be continued? I want to see Glen turn and be shot in the head. No new actor.