Hollywood's 20 Masters of Horror: The Twisted Talents Raising the Most Hell
With The Walking Dead — TV’s No. 1 series among adults 18-to-49 — executive producers Kirkman and Nicotero kicked off TV’s modern horror renaissance and proved there’s a home for the oft-ignored genre on the small screen. Kirkman, 34, who 10 years ago created the comic book on which the zombie drama is based, says the AMC series did something different to bring horror back into the living room.
“There have always been attempts at horror on TV, but for the most part, it’s always been schlocky stuff,” he says. “The Walking Dead could have easily just been zombies walking around eating people, but we do a really heavy character story.” Nicotero, 50, chimes in from the vantage point of someone who has done special effects for decades, working on such movies as Evil Dead II, Misery, Scream, From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill:
“The Walking Dead is not a comedy and it’s not a send-up — it respects the material, and that’s when you get a successful horror show.” And successful it is: The Walking Dead averages 10 million viewers a week and airs in more than 120 markets via Fox International Channels, where it frequently wins its night. AMC is looking to go back to the zombie well: It is developing a Walking Dead companion series that won’t feature any characters from the current TV series or the comic.
“Everyone is doing everything they can to make this a spinoff that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the original show,” says Kirkman, strongly suggesting Nicotero also would be involved. “I’m excited about getting into this world again and doing new things with it; 34-year-old me is competing with 23-year-old me to see what I can do.”
Read THR's complete Masters of Horror list here.