If you thought The Walking Dead was brutal you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet. Robert Kirkman’s new comic-turned-show OUTCAST focuses on demonic possession and is already getting positive buzz from the critics. Entertainment Weekly recently sat down with Kirkman to get the details on how it contrasts with The Walking Dead and what we can expect from the thrilling premiere season.
Entertainment Weekly: What are some of the similarities between the two shows and things a Walking Dead fan might like about Outcast?
Robert Kirkman: I think the thing that I worked the hardest on trying to accomplish — and the thing that I hope that every TV show I’m ever involved with has an element of, and one of the things that makes The Walking Dead popular — is that it’s unlike anything else on television. And when you sit down to watch an episode, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. There’s a certain level of uncertainty, and all the best TV shows have that. I’m very proud of the fact that literally anything could happen on The Walking Dead. Anybody could die, crazy stuff can happen, and the things that you think, “They’ll never do that on TV” — we strive to do at all times.
EW: On the flip side, how is Outcast different from The Walking Dead?
RK: I think if you didn’t know that I was involved, you wouldn’t have any kind of indication of that, because they are so different. Walking Dead is such a visceral, physical threat, and with Outcast, it’s an inward threat. It’s not a smart show, because I don’t ever want to do a smart show, but it is somewhat cerebral to think about things that are inside people, and dealing with the struggles of people who aren’t the people they’re supposed to be. The stories that we’re telling are very different. Your friends and neighbors and loved ones can be your greatest enemy at the turn of a dime, and it’s not because they’re mindless monsters — they’re a cunning, manipulative, very dangerous creature that is suddenly in your midst. It’s a scarier show.
EW: The character of Kyle Barnes is also pretty different from Rick Grimes. Rick Grimes is a guy that had his stuff together before this all starts happening, and I guess you could say with Kyle Barnes, it’s always been happening. That’s the difference, but he’s definitely on much more emotionally shaky ground, it seems.
RK: Yeah, a lot of the process of The Walking Dead is watching Rick Grimes being beaten down and having to grow and change and evolve to overcome that. And when we meet Kyle Barnes at the beginning of Outcast, his life has already been ruined, and he is completely at the end of his rope from this phenomenon that surrounds him that he’s been dealing with his entire life. And so, it’s really more a process of him digging himself out of this hole and trying to take control of his life again. At the very start of our show, he’s in a darker place than Rick Grimes has really ever been.