SD Comic Con 2012: Glen Mazzara and Greg Nicotero on ‘Walking Dead' Season 3


Earlier today I caught up with two of the gentlemen most responsible for making AMC’s The Walking Dead a monster hit – showrunner Glen Mazzara and executive producer/makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero (who’s directing not one, but two episodes of season 3). Here’s what they had to tell me about Michonne, about this season’s prison setting, its new and thankfully animatronic zombies, and its hidden horror movie homages for longtime zombie fans…

“People will be surprised from the very first frame of season 3,” said Mazzara, “and with every episode they will continue to be surprised… People will be pleased and surprised with how we’re treating the prison. We have even done that storyline in our own way, so people will really be debating about how we did it, but I think they’ll be satisfied.”

“What’s surprising about Michonne is how real she feels. She feels grounded, she feels like she’s a part of this universe. I buy it. She doesn’t feel like she just leaped off the comic book pages onto the screen – she really feels like she came up through this world.”

“Getting a chance to get to know Michonne and to know the Governor,” added Nicotero, “and to see how we’ve embellished those characters… the prison is absolutely fantastic. It’s so rich, it’s so real. I just think that where we ended with season 2, the last three episodes sort of sent us into the stratosphere. We’re picking that up, and it continues that level of intensity.”

“The nice thing about being the co-executive producer on the show is that I can build [the puppet zombies]. Because I know that’s what fans would like and would dig, and because I’m also directing on the show I can put them in specific spots where they can be featured. So I’m working out my own niche for where that stuff will be so that the fans will see it. We should talk after the season airs, because I’ve put a bunch of little in-jokes in there that the fans will get. Half the crew doesn’t get it, because they don’t know the genre like I do. But rest assured that you will see a couple shots of some walkers, and you’ll think, ‘That looks familiar to me…’ I put them in there just for me. Because I knew that if I was watching the show I would love to see them.”