Glenn Mazzara’s run as the show runner for “The Walking Dead” is winding down and Mazzara spoke to Dread Central on Feb. 28 about the show and what his job has been like the last two years.
As the second show runner in “The Walking Dead’s” short three year history, he took a series that underwhelmed in the second season and created a third season that has been spectacular, with The Governor and Woodbury, as well as Michonne introduced in the show. He also presented the beloved prison setting from the comics and the prisoners, although they did not last long on the show.
The last of the prisoners finally died in Axel. Mazzara said someone had to die in the episode and Axel was chosen by process of elimination, admitting that names like Carol, Beth and even Carl were mentioned. He said that there could have been some nice future stories for Axel, but The Governor had to kill someone to remain a threat, and Axel lost that debate.
As for his job as the show runner, Mazzara spoke about what he did on the show. This might be a response to “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman calling out an incensed fan for complaining about Mazzara leaving the show without even knowing what a show runner does.
“The showrunner provides the vision for the show,” Mazzara said. “I think the showrunner deserves it! They’re driving the creative vision of the show. So even though it is a collaborative medium, the showrunner is the equivalent of the director of a feature film… Darabont had one particular voice, I have another. And the fans see that! The fans recognize that. That is recognition of the dedication of a lot of men and women who pour their hearts and souls into these works.”
For fans who think “The Walking Dead” won’t change with Glenn Mazzara gone should think again. He did say that new show runner Scott Gimple knows what he is doing, but things won’t be easy heading into season four because this season is ending with “a bombshell.”
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.