Just yesterday, I was discussing the upcoming second season of The Walking Dead with some friends, and wondered if Producer Frank Darabont would return to direct an episode. Today we have an answer: Darabont is stepping down as the showrunner. Damn.
The news is a bit of a shock considering his presence at the Comic-Con panel a few days ago and the fact that the series was something of a passion project for him, taking years to get off the ground. There’s no explanation for his departure, although it is assumed that creative differences and the stresses of a network television schedule are largely to blame. The reigns have passed to Glen Mazzara, best known for his work on The Shield. A solid, if uninspiring replacement.
While this development has tempered my excitement somewhat, it’s not all doom and gloom on the zombie front. As is customary for a genre show these days, AMC will be producing webisodes to debut with season 2 in October. The shorts will follow new character Hannah and her children, who take refuge in her ex-husband’s home in a bid to escape the ravenous “walkers”. Legendary make-up effects man Greg Nicotero (Day of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn) will be directing the online series, which should debut with the season premiere on October 16th.
Darabont’s influence will be sorely missed, but I’m dying to return to this post-apocalyptic universe. If this trailer is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.