Edgar Wright Asked To Direct Episode Of 'The Walking Dead'

There was a big stir at the end of The Walking Dead's first season, with reports circulating that series creator Frank Darabont had fired his entire writing staff. That report was later revealed to be false, much to the chagrin of viewers who felt the show was in desperate need of a writing and directing overhaul — myself included. Was that pessimistic attitude selling Darabont's abilities as a showrunner short? Maybe so. He may not have ditched his writers, but he is looking to bring in some fresh new talent — as proven by his request to have Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director Edgar Wright take on an episode of the show's second season. Read what Wright had to say on the matter after the break.

During a sit down with Collider, the topic of Wright returning to television was breached. He welcomed the possibility, permitted the right idea came along and it was "something more in an episodic form". Then came specific examples, with The Walking Dead suggested as a series for which his zombie expertise would be especially suited.

Here's the relevant excerpt, but you can check out the full discussion over at Collider.

Frank [Darabont] asked me to do a Walking Dead, actually.  But I feel that there's some subject matter that, like, even though it'd be great — and I love that show:  I actually watched four of the six episodes uninterrupted in one run; it was like zombie Pringles — I think that with something like that, with some TV shows, you wanna be in on the ground floor.

The follow-up to that was, naturally, asking for confirmation that he turned down the gig, to which he answered, "Well, I really enjoyed the first season, and I wouldn't wanna be the guy that comes in and fucks it up."

So, a somewhat elusive — and more than a little self-deprecating — response, but it sounds like Edgar Wright won't be gracing us with a televised return to his zombie roots. That's too bad; I wasn't the biggest fan of the trajectory of the series' first season, but much of that was due to lackluster direction of subsequent episodes. A visionary talent like Wright might be exactly what's needed to punch up the material during the show's second season, and give it the same freshness that Darabont's exemplary pilot supplied so well at its outset. It also would've afforded an opportunity for Wright fanboys like myself to see how the filmmaker would fare with a straight genre offering, since he would presumably not be injecting his sly brand of comedic self-awareness into the proceedings.

Nonetheless, I can certainly appreciate Wright's position. As a filmmaker who's been deeply involved in the creative process for all his work, tackling directorial duties for a preexisting show when he's already covered (and parodied) the core subject elsewhere — with a great deal more novelty and affection, no less — can't seem like the most appealing pursuit. (This isn't to say, however, that such an endeavor hasn't yielded terrific results in the past.)

There's also a potential silver lining to be taken into consideration. If Frank Darabont looked to Wright to helm an episode of The Walking Dead, what other directors might he have approached? Better question: What other filmmakers might have said, "Yes"?