Some spoilers ahead for both The Walking Dead and the upcoming Robot Chicken special.
If you’re not excited by these two facts, you might be an undead Walker: 1) Robot Chicken and The Walking Dead are teaming up for a most excellent, hilarious, and fanboy-satisfying crossover special. 2) The incredible cast and creative teams from both award-winning shows have been assembled for this must-see special. Just take a look at everyone who’s involved:
The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking is an animated zombie apocalypse special from Robot Chicken’s Seth Green and Matthew Senreich and their Stoopid Buddy Stoodios partners, John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner, along with The Walking Dead creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman and showrunner/executive producer Scott M. Gimple. The half-hour special will feature original talent from The Walking Dead lending voices to their characters including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun, Sarah Wayne Callies, and more. Chris Hardwick and Breckin Meyer will also be among the cast.
I had a chance to chat over the phone with two of Robot Chicken‘s co-creators/executive producers–Green and Senreich–as well as two members of the show’s creative team–Meyer and director Tom Sheppard–all of whom also write and act for the long-running show in addition to overseeing all sorts of aspects of the production. In this interview, we talked about the upcoming one-off episode, The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking, the nuts and bolts of how their collaborative productions come about, and even teases for the show’s upcoming ninth season.
The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking premieres on October 8th at midnight (ET/PT) on Adult Swim. Check out this San Diego Comic-Con trailer for the special before getting into the interview below:
Now that the creative team can finally talk about the special, here’s how they’re feeling:
Tom Sheppard: It’s exciting. We’ve been living with this thing for almost a year. We started writing it last October.
Seth Green: We had a ton of fun making it, we just want people to like it.
While a Robot Chicken / The Walking Dead crossover might seem like a no-brainer considering how many pop culture parodies the animated comedy takes on, this opportunity came about in a curious way:
Sheppard: Matt Senreich […] is old friends with Robert Kirkman, so apparently it happened over a dinner. They made a little handshake deal and here we are.
Matthew Senreich: That’s basically what happened. I’ve known Rob for a while now and it was really as a joke … We were at this dinner and we were teasing each other about how Geoff Johns had said to me that he wanted to do a DC special, so with Kirkman, I joked about would he ever to do a Walking Dead one. He said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” It was really just that casual. And then it was amazing to watch how fast it was up and running.
Here’s how the Robot Chicken writers room shaped up after the special had been annoucned:
Green: We organized a group of writers based on their interest and appropriateness for it. Everyone knew that the special had been announced before we hired the team, and that was what we tried to do was assemble the right group for this special. That’s why there’s guests on it.
Senreich: What’s weird about the writers room is Kirkman came in and talked to the writers the first day like, “High-five, guys. Let’s have some fun.” And then Scott Gimple, who showruns The Walking Dead, pretty much sat in the room with us. We were joking around with him and having fun and making him laugh. Just the fact that we were all playing together made the special even more fun to write.