The Walking Dead can be viewed as a love letter to zombie fiction, meaning that the use of gore and violence in a world dominated by undead flesh-eaters is somewhat understandable. And yet, the show's brutality has recently met harsh criticism from both newcomers and dedicated fans alike. However, in response to the controversy (and in light of the show's upcoming landmark 100th episode) series executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has defended the showrunners' decision to persist with the show's infamous brutality.
In Defense Of The Dying: Gale Anne Hurd Stands Up For 'The Walking Dead'
When Comicbook.com dropped by the show's set, they caught up with producer Gale Anne Hurd and asked for her take on the often-panned violence seen on The Walking Dead. Hurd, who also produced the first three Terminator movies, said that the violence inflicted and endured is the show's way of paying tribute to Robert Kirkman's source material.
"Look, this is the thing, this is a show that comes from a comic book. The only thing that we changed up in that episode is that two died instead of one. Issue #100 of the comic book was incredibly violent."
The episode that Hurd was referring to is, of course, the notorious season seven premiere that saw the death of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) at the hands of #Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Lucile. Boasting his brute force and tribal dominance at the time, Negan brutally pounded the fan-favorites' heads in with his barbed wire-laden baseball bat, and these executions were shown in graphic detail.
While the scene was faithful to the equally violent 100th issue of the comics, this didn't stop some fans from bashing the show, while others gave up on it entirely. Some claimed that the deaths of Glenn and Abraham were more akin to the excessive violence seen in seedy exploitation films from the '70s, while others felt Negan's debut episode was simply too much.
Hurd then doubled down on her defense, saying that the masterminds behind the hit #AMC drama wanted to honor the iconic source material and its long-time fans by staying as loyal to the comics as possible. She also said that the intensity was necessary to build up an emotional foundation for the show's upcoming 'All Out War' – the story's biggest conflict to date.
"For people who are fans of the comic book ... We've got to remember, without them, we wouldn't be making the show. It's important to embrace that fandom. There are shots that are directly, once again, panels from the comic book. But, that didn't mean that the show, from that point on, maintained that level. It was setting up this character, it was an homage to the comic book, and it set us on course for an all-out war for this season."
The Walking Dead will return to televisions this October with the highly anticipated 'All Out War' storyline finally hitting the small screen. Here, #Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) leads his remaining allies, the Hilltop community, the Kingdom and a tiger against Negan's fanatical Saviors, who hail from the Sanctuary. Of course, the ever-present zombies will also continue to devour anyone unfortunate enough to get in their way.
The coming war's emotional and personal stakes wouldn't be as dire as they are now. if not for the controversial yet necessary deaths of beloved characters and the circumstances behind them. It's because of this that Hurd believes The Walking Dead shouldn't shy away from showing the worst things humans can do to each other.
The Walking Dead returns on October 22, 2017 on AMC.
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