AMC isn’t one to look a rotting gift horse like The Walking Dead in the mouth, extending its highest-rated series so long as creator Robert Kirkman provides comic source material. That relationship doesn’t necessarily extend both ways, however, as Kirkman acknowledges AMC has zero input or foreknowledge of any potential story shakeups.

Kirkman explained to Entertainment Weekly the relationship between AMC’s Walking Dead and his own books, specifically that he has no obligation to inform AMC of plot ahead of time (including any plan to “completely torpedo the story”). That said, showrunner Scott Gimple prefers to be kept in the dark, as a reader himself:

There’s no communication whatsoever. They have no approval over what happens in the comic. Scott Gimple is an avid reader of the comic, and prefers to experience the comic book as a reader, so he gets the advance issues as they’re published, but he doesn’t read scripts. He gets mad at me if I give him any kind of indication as to what’s coming, because he doesn’t like spoilers.

So, they’re kind of a hundred percent in the dark, which I guess is pretty remarkable, and I would probably say it’s a testament to the trust that AMC has in me. I mean, I guess to a certain extent, at this point, the comic book is kind of a workshop of future seasons of the show, and it’s fun to think that I can just completely torpedo the story if I wanted to.

Granted, it’d be awhile yet before AMC had to deal with any “torpedo,” as Kirkman recently published the books’ 160th issue, whereas the Season 7 premiere roughly covered the events of Issue #100. Even then, Kirkman has also noted that the two mediums may use separate endings, especially if the TV series comes to a close first, so as to avoid spoiling his own vision.

In the meantime, The Walking Dead Season 7 continues on Sunday, torpedoes and all.

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