The Walking Dead Season 4: Robert Kirkman Says Rick Is “No Longer the Leader” — Exclusive!
Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images    

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season 4: Robert Kirkman Says Rick Is “No Longer the Leader” — Exclusive!

Wetpaint Entertainment was lucky enough to catch up with The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 during Hyundai’s The Walking Dead 10th Anniversary party on July 19, and he told us all about the “new threat” in Season 4.

As Kirkman describes it, this “force of nature” may even force some unlikely alliances to form. Color us intrigued!

Check out our full interview with the TWD mastermind below to hear his thoughts on the Governor, Carl’s future, and more.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Is Comic-Con still as exciting as it was the first time?

Robert Kirkman: Oh, absolutely, yeah. It's been an amazing experience. I love coming to Comic‑Con. I love seeing these people. I love doing all this stuff, being able to share a trailer, being able to do a panel. It's great.

Can you tell us about the fourth season in broad strokes what are the bigger arcs?

I can't say. Something that is really exciting to me about Season 4 is that we're keeping things very close to the vest. I mean, we just released a trailer. There's a lot of really cool stuff in that trailer that you can use to figure out what's happened. And you're going to be wrong. Even from minute one of the very first episode, we're going in like really new, really cool directions that you're not going to expect. Even if you watch that trailer a hundred times, you're going to be like, "Oh, I had no idea they were going to be doing this."

We know that the Governor's still out there. We're not telling you when you're going to see the Governor. You may see him right away. You may see him much later. But we're not really saying. But I mean, he's definitely in the mix. He's in this season, but he's going to appear when you least expect it. And he's far from the only threat that they have to face this season.

How would you tease the new threat?

I would describe it as a force of nature. It's something uncontrollable, undefeatable. Something that's going to be far more deadly than anything they've ever faced thus far.

The Walking Dead Season 4: Robert Kirkman Says Rick Is “No Longer the Leader” — Exclusive!
Credit: Gene Page/AMC    

Would you say that unlikely alliances might form as a result of the new threat?

It's possible. I see where you're going with that. We'll see.

Whose arc are you most excited about?

I'm excited about all of them, but if I had to single it down to one character, it would be Tyreese. He's a huge character from the comic book series, and we really didn't get to do a lot with him in Season 3 just because everything was so intense leading up to the end with the Governor storyline and everything. And now, we're really getting to roll up our sleeves and dig into that character and do some really cool character building stuff with him. And I think a lot of comic book fans are aware of the relationship between Rick and Tyreese. We kind of missed that a little bit in Season 3, and that's very much going to start being built in Season 4. And we'll see where it goes. It's going to go in some very different places. But a lot of those familiar aspects of that character are going to be worked in, and we're going to do some very cool things with him.

What about Rick? Where do we find him?

He's no longer the leader, which is a little alarming. He's in a very different place. He's focusing more on his family. He's focusing on them in a different way rather than protecting them, he wants to preserve them, maintain his son and his daughter's innocence, which is something that is almost impossible to do in this world. That's where his focus is now.

Have we given up on Carl's innocence?

No, I don't think so. I mean, Rick is doing a lot of hard work on Carl, and maybe he'll be able to pull him back from the brink, maybe he won't. But that's a central focus of the season.

The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres October 13 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Will you tune in?