The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara Talks About The Prison, Michonne and Future Comic Characters

The Walking Dead - Glen Mazzara


It’s been a little over a week since the climactic season finale of The Walking Dead season 2, and already fans are hungry for more. “Beside the Dying Fire” brought a whole host of new tasty bits to chew on, including the ones everybody’s talking about, and those some might not have noticed.

First we were treated to the comic book revelation that all survivors are infected with the walking dead virus regardless of bites, then we lost our minds as Andrea (Laurie Holden) found herself alone in the woods and in need of rescue, saved by a mysterious woman carrying a samurai sword and leading two walkers in chains! And even after catching our first glimpse of Michonne (to be played this fall by Treme star Danai Gurira), the final shot of “Beside the Dying Fire” showed us an ominous prison facility looming over the survivors, which fans know to be the site of The Walking Dead‘s most famous arc of all!

Still, not everyone was happy with the second season of The Walking Dead, feeling fatigued that the AMC survivors spent too much time on Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson)’s farm rather than killing zombies. So with The Walking Dead season 3 confirmed to bring the survivors to the famous prison, how long can we expect that arc to last? Will the 16-episode season 3 end with the survivors leaving that prison, or continue on into season 4? We recently had a chance to speak to The Walking Dead‘s executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara to shed a little light on the coming season!

Says Mazzara of the prison arc:

“Right now, I do see that prison as a significant storyline for season 3 and season 4. I do think that’s a major storyline, and I know we were on the farm for longer than perhaps people wanted, there were reasons for that. I think what we want to do is make sure that that prison does not become claustrophobic. I think the farm played a little claustrophobic for people. Now that the entire landscape has fallen to the zombie apocalypse and zombies are literally at the gate of the prison, if you see in the graphic novel, that prison is a very, very small safe corner.”

“There’s a lot of danger around, so we won’t feel like we’re bottled up in the same way that we were on the farm, in season 3. So, I do think that prison is a significant storyline, and we’re also interested in opening up the world. You know, The Governor has the world of Woodbury, there are other factors out there in the world, other groups, so I think that Rick’s group is really stumbling into this larger world.”

The Walking Dead - Beside the Dying FireBut that’s not all! Ever since the wheels started turning on The Walking Dead season 2, the questions first and foremost on fans minds were whether or not AMC’s adaptation would ever introduce Michonne, the prison, and major villain The Governor (set to be played by British thesp David Morrissey next season). With all three now confirmed for next season, where might The Walking Dead go next?

As you may well know, we’re huge fans of The Walking Dead comics and how they compare to the TV show, so we pressed the series showrunner what other Image Comics storylines and characters he’d like to one day introduce into the AMC series!

Says Mazzara of his future plans:

“There’s a lot of great material from the comic book, this show would have to go on 20 years to get to all of it. I think the Tyreese character is someone we’re interested in introducing at some point. We still have Morgan and Duane out there, from the pilot, we’re interested in them, and there’s new characters that will be original to the series, not coming straight from the comic books.”

“I was telling someone yesterday, I think seasons 1 and 2 have been prologue, and now we’re hitting the ground running, and I see season 3 as resetting the show in terms of what I really hope it can be.”

Not only that, but season 2’s shocking decision to kill off long-running comic character Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) far earlier than his literary counterpart may have stunted a few potential stories, but that doesn’t mean that events can’t be shifted around to different characters. In the books, Dale met his end – SPOILER ALERT – sustaining too many injuries from a group of cannibalistic stalkers in the “Fear the Hunters” arc. but Dale’s death on the AMC series doesn’t necessarily table that idea. Says Mazzara, “Anybody can be cannibalized, so we still have that story in the pocket.”

What do you think? Does the possibility of the survivors staying at the prison for longer than a single season worry you about The Walking Dead season 3? Which future characters and stories are you most looking forward to seeing? Give us your take on Mazzara’s revelations in the comments below!

  • gregg

    i just hope they don't drag the prison story like they did the farm. the last 3 episiodes of the walking dead were the only good ones, the rest was a big bore.

  • nick

    oh wow, another Brit playing an icon southerer. not sure i'm thrilled with this. The actor who plays Rick is a Brit anf he's horrible in his accent.

    • Morgan

      Just because David is British it does not mean he will not be good I have seen him I a few things and he really is a good actor

  • Chuck

    I have to admit, I haven’t read the comics…yet. So, from an outside pov, I’d like to see them spend some time in one place. Not like Gilligan’s island where they never leave, but not going somewhere new every other episode.

    • jemiph

      Clearly you've not only not read the comics, you haven't seen any of Season 2 either. They just spent an entire season in one place.

  • ake

    how about we get a two hour season premier that includes the introduction of tyreese and his daughter and then them stopping at wiltshire estates …that all goes down on the way to the prison cuz it looked a few miles away yet ovethe river and through the woods….but end the episode with them showing up at the prison

    • Jacob Lightford

      I believe the wiltshire estates arc was before the farm in the comics… and that place with all the houses that shane and andrea went to early in the season… those were the wiltshire estates.

  • Steph

    I think there could easily be two seasons located at the prison. There are plenty of story lines. The serial killer prisoner id pretty intense. Although the prison is the main setting, much of the show would have to be set at Woodbury. Not all the characters end up there. Then theres the little war between the prison and Woodbury. And all the relationship drama in between all of these events. They could always find reasons for characters to leave the prison for supplies, do the threat of zombies doesn’t disappear. There is plenty to work with, and people need to remember that this is a show, not a typical zombie movie. They do need to spend time developing the characters, the show can’t all be a zombie blood bath. But whatever they do, Daryl better stay alive!!

    • Emma

      But you always have to keep in mind that while all the chaos is going on Lori is pregnant. I’m still not sure if it’s Shane’s or Ricks baby. It might as well be Ricks because he is going crazy like Shane.

  • Ryan

    The whole Dale vs. the Cannibals story won't really be effective now in my opinion. The whole point of it in the comic book was that he had been bitten and was going off to die when he was captured, so they had eaten his infected flesh. But since they're all infected already, what's the point? Other than to show how far the human race has sunk, of course.

    • Kevin Fitzpatrick

      By the time Dale was bitten in the books, they too already knew about the fact that they already carry whatever brings people back to life after death. However, not being scientists, they could never conclusively determine whether an actual zombie bite transmitted *something* that activated / accelerated the process, or if zombies themselves were simply so disease-ridden that a bite would kill based on germs and lack of medication alone.

  • Emma

    I personally love this show, and don’t think they dragged the farm out too long. I’m 11 so I am too busy thinking about Chandler Riggs (Carl) to worry about that. But I am still trying to theriorize how they will find it. (I haven’t read the comics)So I am very excited about season three and see if anyone dies, and if Lori is gonna have her baby.

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