EXCLUSIVE: Interview With THE WALKING DEAD Producer Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd on The Walking Dead season 3, getting her start under the legendary Roger Corman, what's on the horizon for Valhalla Entertainment, her next groundbreaking television series Port Royal and the possibility of a Walking Dead movie.
Back in March, after the season finale of The Walking Dead (TWD), I had the opportunity to chat with Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd about a number of topics ranging from her record breaking show to the early days of her career and what ultimately motivates her to continue producing films and television. You can listen to our chat in it's entirety below. Hurd spearheads her own company Valhalla Entertainment, which currently has an impressive number of comic book, film and television projects that are in various stages of development. Of course, talking with Hurd, I definitely sensed that despite the fact she's presently developing all these projects, it's her post-apocalyptic AMC show that just might be her personal favorite. It's a few months later now and Hurd is currently on TWD set, focused on what will surely be an epic third season which she described as being "intense" and "more along the lines of the second half of season two" in terms of pacing.
When we began to touch on her love for comic books, she revealed that she's a "Marvel Girl" and grew up reading The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four while dabbling in a little Batman, Superman and Archie occasionally. Despite reading the far out fantasies of Marvel and DC growing up, she initially wanted to be a lawyer before going off to college and discovering her love for film. After graduating from Stanford, she worked for legendary horror and sci-fi master, Roger Corman, whom she says gave her an opportunity to really learn the industry at a time when most women were rarely given that option.
Today, Gale's known as an extremely successful film producer with such titles as The Terminator, Aliens and The Incredible Hulk to her credit. As a producer she says she's involved in every step of production and was responsible for assembling the creative teams behind some of your favorite movies. However, despite some very successful films, she says that today, she prefers working in television due in part to the flexibility of telling a story across thirteen hours instead of two. As CEO of Valhalla, Gale continues working in the comic book medium and has a number of properties in development. Currently Valhalla has Greg Pak's Dead Man's Run in comic shops and has adaptions of Magdalena, Gearhead and The Scourge in various stages of development. It appears news from Gearhead could potentially be revealed any day now while The Scourge is close to securing a tv deal.
However, it's her next television show, Port Royal, a pirate series optioned by FX that could very well be a television changer, similar to TWD. She tells me that the show will be nothing like Pirates of the Caribbean and that people should think more along the lines of Sons of Anarchy and Justified in terms of tone, "It will be brutal and unlike anything you've ever seen on television before" says Hurd.
As we winded down our chat, I decided to have a little fun and asked her hypothetically, who directs and who stars if she's producing a Wonder Woman movie for Warner Bros. Playing along, her first choice for director was James Cameron with Christopher Nolan as a second option, while her choice to wield the Lasso of Truth and twin indestructible bracelets was surprisingly, the diminutive Mila Kunis. But hey, what do I know, that's why I write about movies and Gale makes them. Lastly, I asked her will we ever see a Walking Dead movie? "It's up to Robert Kirkman" she says but it's a possibility after the show is over and that an adjunct like say Rise of the Governor would be an ideal adaption.
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