“The Walking Dead” Season 3 turned the series into one of television’s biggest hits thanks in large part to the relentless pace of the conflict between Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors at the prison as they faced a serious threat from the town of Woodbury, led by the Governor (David Morrissey).
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, “The Walking Dead” co-creator and executive producer, Robert Kirkman spoke about some of the changes ahead after the finale saw the remaining Woodbury residents join the prison while the Governor disappeared with his only loyal soldiers.
“There's going to be a bit of a time jump,” explained Kirkman. “Some time has passed between season three and season four. It's only a few months, we're not nailing down the exact number of days or anything like that. The prison that we see is a very different prison and the characters that we see are very different from the last time we saw them. We go into season four with characters you've known for four years and still find new things to explore with them and new aspects of their character and see that they are growing and changing in extremely dramatic ways due to the strains that this world has put upon them.”
Kirkman hinted that the Governor may stay off the stage for a while, but that won’t stop Michonne (Danai Gurira) from actively trying to hunt him down.
“[Andrea’s] death is going to loom large over the entire cast,” noted Kirkman. Everyone is still reeling from it. Michonne in particular is going to have quite a bit going on with her because of that loss. As we meet Michonne coming back this season, she's on a mission to hunt down the Governor. It's something she's very obsessed with.”
“ It's big part of her character this season,” continued Kirkman. “She did lose Andrea and she lost her because of the Governor. She's not willing to let that guy go or be out there. It's something that may possibly be to her detriment, the fact that she's so dedicated to finding this person. That's something that very much informs her character this season.”
While Rick was barely holding on to his sanity last season, the new season will find Rick in a better frame of mind.
“What [Rick is] doing now seems to be a bit more passive and less of a leadership role,” noted Kirkman. “But at the same time, he's also trying to be that standard that Carl and Judith can grow up with. He's trying to provide for them in a different and more meaningful way and maintain their childhoods to a certain extent. He's doing something very different, but his goals are still the same: keep these kids safe and growing up.”
Kirkman also promised that the new season will be a “more character-based story. It's going to be more focused on who these characters are and what they're going through. To a certain extent, we got away from that a little bit in season three. Coming into season four, we're definitely going to know a lot more about these people so it will be that much more gut-wrenching and worse when we lose these characters.”
“The Walking Dead” Season 4 will premiere in October on AMC.