Monkeys Fighting Robots

Outcast, Cinemax’s suspense-horror series returned with the first episode of its sophomore season on July 20th.  We sat down with Chris Black (executive producer) and Robert Kirkman (creator of the show and comic book) to discuss the upcoming season of the show, Star Trek, and working with young actors on a horror show.  Below are highlights from the interview, which took place at a press tour in April 2018.  The second season is discussed, so light SPOILERS follow:

Outcast Season Two

What are you guys excited about for season two? What are you excited for people to see?

Kirkman: I think it’s a more intense season. I think that we established Rome and we establish the characters and everything in the first season, but season two gets much deeper into the mythology and kind of reveals how much bigger the problem is and how much more entrenched in the city of Rome it is. And we also expanded some new characters and some new directions that aren’t necessarily completely present in the comic, which is exciting. So there’s some new cool twists and turns along the way and I think it’s going to be awesome.

Are there any character arc this season that you guys are particularly looking forward to?  

Kirkman: I think the Sidney storyline with Brent Spiner’s character goes into some interesting places and Wrenn Schmidt’s character, Megan has some of the best scenes.

Black: You took the words out of my mouth. I think watching what Sidney goes through and where he ends up at the end of the season and his struggle for dominance and control and bringing him into contact with other characters on his side of the table in terms of other people who were involved in the ongoing issue of possession is really fun. And Megan’s character, Wrenn, who’s such an extraordinary actor, bringing her out of the first season, dealing with everything that happens with her and her family. I think we could, we take her to a really dark place and then try to pull her out of it, which I think really generates an interesting storyline and it’s just always fun to watch those actors work.

Speaking of Star Trek, do you think Quentin Tarantino has a good a Star Trek script in him?

Kirkman: I don’t think Quentin Tarantino has a bad anything script in him. I think he is a genuine Star Trek fan. I’m very excited for that.

Black: Having worked on one of the Star Trek iterations, I think anything that takes it in a new and fun direction is great for the franchise experience. So it’s something if he brings something new and exciting. I can’t wait.

Holly and Amber - Outcast Season Two

Holly (played by Callie Brook McCliny) and Amber (played by Madeleine McGraw) play a much larger roles (this season)  Are there any particular challenges being that it’s such a dark show at times?

Black: (joking) It’s just fun to torture and traumatize them. Look, I mean, they’re just such professionals. It’s, and you forget sometimes that, that they’re, you know, eight, nine years old because at a certain point you just deal with them and interact with them the way you would adult actor because they, they’re pros, they get it, they’re excited about the stuff you bring them.

So with Outcast, it seemed like when you guys develop the TV show sort of similarly timed to when you started writing the comic book to an extent, right?  With Walking Dead obviously you had a ton of material from when you started. Is there a big difference between how you work on the two shows?

Kirkman: There would be times where I’d be like, Oh yeah, I can’t make this work in the comic. We could maybe pull this off in the show. I feel like it made me less precious just because I was like, yeah, I’m doing this and then yeah, we can totally do all kinds of different stuff in the, in the show. But I’m not very precious with Walking Dead either. So I don’t really know. I mean, I love the differences between the two mediums. I love being able to surprise people, so I’m always pushing to change the adaptations so that people that have read the comics are going, “that’s not right”, because I figured that’s exciting.