Considering The Walking Dead is one of the most popular shows on TV right now, franchise creator Robert Kirkman is a force to be reckoned with. His third TV series is Cinemax’s upcoming horror drama Outcast, and he’s opened up on how it’ll be different from the AMC hit.
Outcast is being adapted from Kirkman’s comic, illustrated by Paul Azaceta, which centers on Kyle Barnes, a man who befriends a reverend named Anderson in trying to figure out the mystery behind a life that has been plagued by demonic possession. When asked about how the TV show will be comparable to the comics, Kirkman said this:
It’s not like The Walking Dead, where we do completely different things. There are some big differences to what we’re doing with Kyle and Anderson, but mostly it’s expanding and building around what exists in the comic series.
It makes complete sense that Outcast won’t get the same remixed page-to-screen treatment as The Walking Dead has gotten since Season 1 began. For one, Outcast only has 14 issues to it, as compared to the 149 issues that The Walking Dead has going for it, and it also has far fewer characters than the zombie epic. As such, there’s not that much room to switch stories up, which makes a more direct adaptation almost necessary. This could also work out better for Outcast fans that don’t want to deal with seeing details skewed simply to surprise TV viewers, as well as those who want to see the town of Rome, West Virginia, and its citizens developed more on the small screen.
Kirkman also told EW that Outcast probably won’t be bringing in new major characters that weren’t in the comics, which The Walking Dead has done with Norman Reedus’ fan favorite Daryl Dixon and others. He said that most of the TV show’s characters are present in the comics, but he wasn’t able to develop them as well on the page as he’s been able to do with the show, where there are “more minutes to fill.”
Judging by its trailer, Outcast already looked like a different show than Kirkman’s previous efforts, which also include the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. It’s a much more low-stakes show, at least as far as the world at large is concerned, and will keep its character development to a more limited capacity. Here’s how he summed up the basic idea behind it all.
If The Walking Dead is the zombie movie that never ends – about these people surviving for years and years in a way you’ve never seen in a zombie movie before – Outcast is about people treating demonic possession as a solvable problem.
Big screen exorcism horrors have been exceedingly overplayed and unsatisfying in recent years, so this sounds like the best possible alternative. Starring Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister, Gabriel Bateman, Wrenn Schmidt, David Denman and more, Outcast is set to debut on Cinemax at some point during Summer 2016, with acclaimed horror director Adam Wingard at the helm of the first episode. Are you guys ready for some demonic drama?