Today, Mon. May 7, production of The Walking Dead Season 3 officially kicks off. Now AMCtv.com begins its series of on-set interviews with the show’s talented creative team by chatting with Executive Producer Robert Kirkman about Danai Gurira’s (Michonne) sword skills and the most impressive set he’s ever seen on the show. (Yes, we’re talking about the prison.)
Q: After two seasons, you must feel like an old pro on set. What aspects of production still surprise you?
A: One thing that’s surprising me is how much I’ve fallen in love with Georgia. The town Senoia where we’re filming is absolutely beautiful…The big change this season is we’ve got this amazing prison that we’re filming in. It’s absolutely stunning, and I never get used to being on set.
Q: What went into constructing the prison?
A: They’ve taken a lot of what you see in the comic book series and brought it to life in ways that I didn’t think possible. This is going to be one of the most impressive looking things that’s ever been put together for a show.
Q: The room in the prison with all the guns and the SWAT gear in the comic is really cool. Is that going to come up on the show?
A: We’re a big fan of the SWAT gear here at The Walking Dead writer’s room… maybe that’s an indication that we’ll be seeing that stuff in the show. It’s important to us to maintain the tone of the show. Thus far [the characters] have been out on the road, desperate and living in the heat, and we don’t want it to be that they’re relaxing in this safe place now.
Q: With the evil Governor in the picture, does that mean the humans are the bigger threat this season?
A: The plan was always to evolve naturally into a place where the zombies essentially become a manageable threat. You know the rules. You know how to deal with them. To a certain extent they become something to not really be scared of unless you mess up. Humans, however, do not follow any rules and will always do something that surprises you and are capable of doing things far worse than trying to eat you…We’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of horrible things.
Q: What can you tell us about David Morrissey’s portrayal of the Governor? Have you seen him in costume yet?
A: I’m actually waiting desperately to see him dressed up in Governor mode and walking the streets of Woodbury. I think he’s going to be absolutely great playing against Andrew Lincoln.
Q: Michonne was introduced in the Season 2 Finale. How are Danai Gurira’s sword skills shaping up?
A: There’s been quite a bit of sword training going on and [Danai] is doing an amazing job. She’s going to be do all of the hard character stuff and drama that The Walking Dead is known for, but she has tremendous physical capability and the sword training that I’ve seen is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see her hack up some zombies.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the sword she’s using?
A: She’s using a sword that we specially designed for the show…The origins of the sword will be revealed on the show.
Q: This season has got so many exciting story lines…
A: When you think about The Walking Dead comic series, you think about oh, the stuff they with did the Governor, the stuff they did with the prison and Woodbury and Michonne. And that’s really a lot of the stuff that people remember the story for and that’s stuff we haven’t even gotten to in the TV show yet. So as much as people love the show, and as high as the ratings are, and as cool as the show is, I feel like we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. This season is absolutely going to blow people away.
Q: You’re developing another of your comics, Thief of Thieves, with AMC. What can you tell us about that project?
A: Thief of Thieves is a great heist story about a man named Conrad Paulson who leads a double life as a master thief known internationally as Redman…I am working with Chic Eglee, who is a fantastic writer who worked on the first season of The Walking Dead, and right now we are in the pilot development stage, so he’s going to be working hard on the pilot script and once that’s written we’ll go from there. But it’s really exciting to be working with AMC again.
Q: This season will be 16 episodes instead of 13. Are you looking forward to the longest production time yet?
A: The actors and the crew and a lot of the producers would not be thrilled to hear me saying this, but I love doing 16 episodes a year. I think the more the better, and I think it’s a lot of fun. We are going to get to tell bigger stories, and tell more stories, and get into the characters a lot more. So the more the merrier.