Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AMC’s The Walking Dead Set For Season 2

Unless you’ve been invaded by zombies and didn’t manage to survive… AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment survival. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead. Shot on location in Atlanta, The Walking Dead is led by a cast that includes Lincoln (Teachers, Love Actually) as Rick Grimes, Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) as Shane Walsh, Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break) as Lori Grimes, Laurie Holden (The Shield, Stephen King’s The Mist) as Andrea, Jeffrey DeMunn (Stephen King’s The Mist, The Green Mile) as Dale, Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory) as Glen, Emma Bell (The Bedford Diaries) as Amy and Chandler Riggs (Get Low) as Carl Grimes.

Joining Darabont and Hurd as executive producers are Kirkman; David Alpert from Circle of Confusion; and Charles “Chic” Eglee (Dexter, The Shield). Jack LoGiudice (Sons of Anarchy, Resurrection Blvd) serves as co-executive producer with Denise Huth (Stephen King’s The Mist) as producer. The Walking Dead was written by Darabont, Eglee, LoGiudice, Kirkman, Glen Mazzara and Adam E. Fierro. In addition to Darabont, directors for the series include Michelle MacLaren, Gwyneth Horder Payton, Johan Renck, Ernest Dickerson and Guy Ferland.

Production has already begun and the show is set to debut in October of 2011. But here are some questions and answers from Gale Anne Hurd, The Walking Dead’s brilliant Executive Producer— DIRECTLY from the set:

What’s the production been like so far?
It has been pedal to the metal. We had the zombie invasion, the herd on the highway… It was certainly as big, if not bigger, than anything we had in the first season. It’s interesting, though, because now that people are aware of the show, we do have visitors. Sometimes they’re in helicopters for the local TV stations. Sometimes they’re fans that show up at five o’clock in the morning waiting for us to arrive.”

What changes have you noticed since The Walking Dead is on everyone’s radar?
The number of people who want to be zombie extras has blown up. And when we say that we’re working on The Walking Dead, as opposed to the blank stares that we got last year, now we hear “Oh, it’s a great show,” or “My boyfriend is a fan,” and “Hopefully, you’ll have more episodes this year.” So we’re happy to be able to tell them we’ve got a full 13-episode season.

What challenges do those additional episodes present?
The challenge, of course, is surviving the heat and the humidity for more than double our shooting schedule. We were essentially on the same schedule starting the beginning of June as we were on last year. And Atlanta has had unseasonably hot weather. I think we’ve broken a few records already with over 90 degree temperatures. But, we were prepared this season. We had all the right clothing. We have a lot of our zombie extras back from last year— they were totally prepared. We really were able to start back up without missing a beat.

Have the zombie extras been instructed to change their behavior this season?
We really want people to bring their own unique take to it. We still have the same rules, but now we’re dealing with some people who have been zombified a little longer. So they’re much skinnier, but they’re just as deadly.

Last season you told us you would consider dressing as a zombie for Season 2. Any chance that will happen?
I’d probably have to lose about 15 pounds in order to fit with the terrific group that we’ve got, and I don’t know if that’s in the cards.

What about Season 2 are you most looking forward to?
We have such terrific character-driven stories. Since we set up the world, now we’re able to delve into the dynamic of the characters among those survivors to a degree that we weren’t last season given the short order of episodes. And that’s what I’m most excited about—- to really deliver on that promise from last year. We want to take some literary license with the comic book, such as being able to develop a love triangle between Rick and Shane and Lori. So that’s something that clearly, although it deviates from the comic book in the sense that Shane’s around a lot longer, it also gives us an opportunity for us to really explore what it means to each one of the characters.

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