The Walking Dead is comic book creator Robert Kirkman's baby, but is AMC's TV show The Walking Dead also his baby? Without naming Kirkman, outgoing TWD showrunner Glen Mazzara seemed to hint to an authority clash with the executive producer when explaining why he was leaving the show after Season 3.
Mazzara started by giving details on how he ended up taking over the show from Frank Darabont, during Season 2. “I was sort of the hired gun coming in to support the creator of the show, and through odd circumstances I ended up becoming showrunner,” Mazzara said Tuesday during a National Association of Television Program Executives panel (via The Hollywood Reporter). “You had to sort of grab the wheel as if we were going through a storm, and I’m happy to say I was able to contribute and we got through the storm. But when I think people involved with the show are looking at the long-term plan, they want something different — and what those differences are, you would have to ask AMC.”
He added, “When you’re the creator, you can say, 'This is what the show is,' I didn’t create the show. I didn’t create the comic book, so I’m just glad I was able to contribute.”
However, even though he wasn't the creator of the show, he was ultimately responsible for handling script notes from the network, 15 producers and the actors. “There’s no way you can make everybody happy," he said. "So I'd just sort of go through and do a rewrite on the entire script trying to include all of those different voices, all of those different perspectives. … At the end of the day, somebody has to make the call. Otherwise, it’s just chaos."
Season 3 has turned out pretty well so far, so we have to approve of whatever happened behind the scenes to make the sausage so tasty. But we're a little worried for Season 4 showrunner Scott Gimple. Hopefully he can walk the tightrope with a little more ease than Darabont or Mazzara. But if comic book guru/executive producer Kirkman really is running the show, why can't he just be the official showrunner? It has to be a bit ego-damaging to feel like you were just hired to carry out someone else's vision, when you are expected to be the boss.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter