Robert Kirkman Talks “Outcast” and Season 5 of “Walking Dead”

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Robert Kirkman, the creator of “The Walking Dead,” recently spoke out about the upcoming fifth season of the AMC series that is based on his comics as well as the new series based on his comic series, “Outcast.”

“Outcast” will be released at the end of June will follow similar themes to “The Walking Dead.” The title, released via Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, is already out-selling his other series. 

Kirkman explains what kind of similarities “Outcast” and “The Walking Dead” share.

I think that both of them strive to be very real examinations of a very fantastical and unreal kind of situation. Although I would argue that demonic possession is certainly something that there’s evidence to support the possibility that it could be a real phenomenon — much more so than zombies. I think zombies are probably definitely never going to happen (Laughs). I think people may wish that they would. But they’re both stories about very real people against these horrific backdrops. That’s something that I really enjoy doing.

For those who are caught up with comic series of “The Walking Dead,” the series has started a new story after a time jump. We see Rick re-established in a larger society. Kirkman spoke about whether he knows how the story will end and its effects on creating “Outcast.”

I’ve known roughly how The Walking Dead [comic] ends for a while now. It’s something that I took my time figuring out but I always knew the direction I was going in. A few years ago the end cemented itself. But that’s something that is very far off into the future and it’s an ending that doesn’t really work unless I take my time getting there. I feel like, as withOutcast, the stakes on The Walking Dead have continued to escalate, and in recent issues, we’ve revealed the full extent of the world building that we’re planning to do long-term, and just how important these characters that we’ve been following are going to turn out to be in the history of civilization. That’s a pretty exciting prospect and a really cool change and shift in the narrative of that story.

Unlike “The Walking Dead,” “Outcast” will be a series at Cinemax and Kirkman is actually prepping the potential pilot himself. Kirkman explained how the show would compare to the comics.

There’s definitely going to be a lot similarities, but despite the fact that I’m writing the comic and writing the pilot episode of the series, you will see some pretty big differences. There are certain ways to tell a story, and certain mechanics and things that work really well in comics that don’t work well on television and vice versa. There are certain opportunities to be taken when you adapt something into television, where you have motion and sound, where you can expand on and change things in very cool ways in a manner that wouldn’t have worked so well in comics. To be honest, that’s the fun part and the challenge of saying, “This is going to be moving and there’s going to be actors, and it’s going to have sound, and there are different things to be done.” It’s cool to limit the same story and think about it in a different way.

Even though season 4 of “The Walking Dead” ended on a pretty crazy note, we didn’t see any major characters die, which is surprising in itself. Kirkman tells us what we can expect with season 5 of the show.

It’s always highly likely, though I wouldn’t say that it’s any more likely than it ever is, but it is always extremely likely. We did pull back on the reins a little bit at the end of season four. We’re definitely going to hit the ground running for season five and we really don’t let up very quickly at all. It’s going to be a pretty fast-paced, intense season.

When it comes to rumors about character Glenn possibly meeting his maker, Kirkman unfortunately did not confirm nor deny the rumors.

I absolutely love it. It means people care and people are paying attention. So keep those rumors flying!

Kirkman also commented on the addition of Seth Gilliam to a currently unconfirmed role.

Every season we try to bring in new characters that add something in their own way to the cast, much in the way that Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) brought a new narrative and more character dynamics to the show. Seth Gilliam’s character — whoever it may be — brings a lot of conflict and really cool character traits to the mix.

The Walking Dead returns in October. A specific premiere date will likely be announced at Comic-Con. Outcast No. 1 is released June 25 via Image Comics. Check out an advance look at Outcast No. 1, below.

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