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Cast and creator of new Walking Dead show compare it to Apocalypse Now and Wizard Of Oz

By Rory Cashin

September 25, 2020 at 12:31pm

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There is also another surprising comparison made by one of the leading actors.

Zombies are one of those things in the media world that kind of reflect back whatever is going on in the world at the time, or as a not-too-subtle metaphor for whatever the storyteller wants to get across.

Be it racism (Night Of The Living Dead), consumerism (Dawn Of The Dead), fear of war (Day Of The Dead), fear of your fellow man (28 Days Later...), or what have you, they are there as a stand-in for something bigger.

The Walking Dead has proven to be a great metaphor for 'men are the REAL monsters', but as the main show comes to an end, we are now getting a new a spin-off in the form of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

As we said in our review, it focuses on a group of teens attempting to survive the world ten years on from the outbreak of the zombie pandemic, but what was the bigger story the cast and crew behind the show are trying to tell? Lucky enough, we were given the opportunity to ask them just that!

When we watched the first few episodes, we couldn't help but notice that there were parallels to a certain classic movie. Four people, heading away from safety, down a road of danger, towards a man who hopefully has some answers for them, while being chased by an evil (or misunderstood?) woman in power.

Yep, it was pretty much the Wizard Of Oz, and when we pointed that out to the show's co-creator Matt Negrete, he completely agreed:

"It was always devised, at least this season of the show, to be a quest based goal, and there is a lot of Hero's Journey aspect to it, and Joseph Campbell, and that is something that Scott [Gimple, co-creator] and I talked a lot about when we were developing the show. [...] It is one singular journey that they're on, but they've got their own personal journeys, so I think in that way, that Wizard Of Oz analogy is spot on."

Additionally, when we put it to Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall) that she was the evil witch of this story, she came up with even more interesting sources that she drew from for her character:

"I have to say that one of the films that I reached out to, I looked at Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, because I always kind of liked the way that he'd - just that kind of 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning' moment, while there's chaos going on around him. Like what happens with the disassociation of military leadership, what becomes of you in that circumstance.

"And then another film that I'd looked at was actually Captain Phillips. I think that was the most amazing depiction of the disassociation of military. So you have the human being within it, whether you are simpatico with the Somali pirate who has been put up against this huge force. And then this massive force that just comes down to just stop this little group of vulnerable people - sorry, giving away a bit of who I would be sympathetic with. I just love the way the military have an agenda, and there is a certain kind of vibe to it."

We were also lucky enough to chat to two more of the stars of the show - Alexa Mansour and Nicolas Cantu - who discussed whether or not the fact that the show has much younger protagonists made the makers want to pull back on the horror and violence aspects of the story.

You can listen to the interviews in full right here, with Alexa and Jonathan chatting from the start, and then Julia and Matt from 2.55 in:

Meanwhile, The Walking Dead: World Beyond will arrive on Prime Video from Friday October 2, and you can check out the trailer for it right here:

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