AMC announced Thursday that the cast and crew of the hit zombie show The Walking Dead will return to Atlanta, Ga., on May 6 to start production on season four.
Although the third season is about to wrap filming, it's also considered the best run for the series to date - which makes it uncertain as to why showrunner Glen Mazzara would decide to make an exit following the end of the season.
Scenestr was able to get the inside scoop from the soon-to-depart showrunner about what lies ahead. With the death of prisoner Axel now in the distant past, Mazzara was questioned on the rationale behind it. In the process he also addressed the sensitive subject of killing off the audience's most beloved characters.
"To be very honest, I didn't want to kill off any of the major characters. We obviously didn't want to kill Rick. Carol was on the chopping block, but I didn't want to kill Carol, because we have a story coming up with her," he said. "We looked at the possibility of killing Beth. I don't think that actor knows that. You know, I love Emily Kinney. But I felt that would have had too big an impact on the group. It would have just devastated Herschel."
Mazzaro touched on season four and where his replacement Scott M. Gimple fits into the scheme of things.
"Well, the next guy, Scott Gimple, has been involved for a while. And Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero, the creative team, were all producers on season three."
He went on to elaborate on how Gimple and the rest of the producer team are fully able to handle the twists and turns moving forward in terms of the TV show's ever-evolving storylines.
"There's no material there that is surprising to them. They were involved in developing that material," he added. "That being said, listen... the season finale will be a bombshell, as you say. We wouldn't be 'The Walking Dead' if we didn't push the storytelling every week."
The Walking Dead will be airing its next episode, titled Clear, on Sunday, March 3 at 9 p.m. ET on the AMC network. The teaser can be viewed below.