EW: How do you decide whether to make people look like they do in comic, or have them look completely different, like Bob Stookey?
KIRKMAN: It’s never done that way. All we ever do is we have the role, we know what we want to do with the character and then we cast them. If we can cast an actor that looks like the characters in the comics, great. But that’s not something we ever try to do. It’s just not possible to find the best actor for the role and somehow match them with the drawing that was done almost a decade ago. We always look for the best actor for the role, period. It would be an unrealistic endeavor to try to match the comic visually at all times.
EW: What about this new character named Gareth? What can you tell me about him?
EW: Okay, well, is there a new character named Gareth? [laughs]
EW: Wow, really spilling all the beans there, Mr, Kirkman! Fine, let me ask you this: What about seeing Morgan again?
KIRKMAN: All I’ll say is, it’s entirely possible. I feel like the “Clear” episode that Morgan last appeared it would be a worthy end of the story the way he represented Rick’s future and put him back on the path that he was on and it really played up and played off that relationship they built in the very first episode. And that would have been — would be — a fine ending for that character story. But we all love Lennie James and we all want to see Morgan again so it may happen at some point, it may not. We all want to see Morgan again as much as the fans do. You never know.
EW: Let’s talk about some other loose ends. Are we going to learn more about the faint radio signal Daryl and the others picked up on in the car?
KIRKMAN: We will absolutely, definitely learn a ton more about that. I think that the first eight episodes of the season probably deserve a rewatch if you’re really invested in what’s coming up. And when it comes time in a couple of years when you watch all of season 4 as a whole there are so many hints and so many little breadcrumbs thrown out that are going to be paid off in the back half of season 4 that people are going to be shocked at the things that they didn’t notice. There are so many little things that are unresolved and are going to be picked up and addressed in these last eight episodes and that recording is definitely chief among them but there’s a lot of stuff we’re going to be dealing with.
EW: Does that include the identity of the person putting the rats by the fence and performing rat vivisections?
KIRKMAN: Yeah, that’s like a whole plot thread! I wanna know what happens there! We wouldn’t leave that hanging.
EW: Is there going to be any more to the aftermath of making Carol leave? Will Tyreese finally find out? Will we see Carol again?
KIRKMAN: All I’ll say on that front is that Carol was exiled from the prison because of what she did. And now all of our characters have in a sense been exiled from the prison. So, you know…they’re all pretty much in the same place now.
EW: Speaking of locations, any new locations from the comics we might be looking at?
KIRKMAN: There’s a lot of stuff on the horizon. I wouldn’t want to reveal anything like that. One of the things very important to me is when things are adapted from the comics, it’s better when those things emerge unexpectedly, as opposed to, “Oh, when are we getting to this stuff, when are we getting to that stuff?” And there’s definitely some of that coming up in the back half. I wouldn’t want to reveal that, I would spoil all the fun!
EW: I know we’re going to get a good, long look at Michonne in the first episode back. What would you like to say about how that episode maybe connects some of the dots a little bit?
KIRKMAN: The first episode back, we’re definitely going to get a glimpse into Michonne’s past and learn more about her specifically than we’ve known before, and I think people are going to be pretty shocked where we’ve gone with those things.
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