After receiving the George Pal Memorial Award (for genre work during the last quarter century) at the Saturn Awards this past week, in addition to a “Best TV Presentation” win for his AMC hit The Walking Dead, executive producer Frank Darabont had a brief moment to divulge some insider gossip regarding the status of season 2 and (hopefully) beyond.

According to FEARnet, Darabont addressed two big Walking Dead rumors: 1) the zombie wrangling, sword wielding, fan-favorite Michonne will eventually be joining the ranks of The Walking Dead, and 2) he’s still hoping to get Stephen King, and his son Joe Hill, to write an episode at some point.

Unfortunately, Darabont pretty much ruled out Michonne making an appearance in season 2 saying, “I can officially tell you Michonne is coming in third season… When she appears, she’s going to rock your world.”

Of course that bit of good news is seriously diluted by the fact that fans will have to wait an additional year before seeing the character. But solid confirmation from the man in charge is probably all fans need to be sated until the series resumes.

As for the rumor that horror maestro Stephen King would be penning an episode for season 2. Darabont’s response was a somewhat flaccid confirmation – saying King definitely wanted to do it, but it required the presence of his son (and acclaimed author in his own right) Joe Hill – and that their schedules had yet to line-up for the work to progress.

Darabont stated:

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’s just a matter of… They want to do it together. I’m proud to say that they’re both addicted fans of the show. In fact, Steve started harassing me by email, because I sent him the first one as soon as we had a lab pressing a disc. Like a decent Blu-ray. Then he started harassing me for the next one. Because Joe would drive up from wherever he lives, because he lives an hour away, and they’d sit and watch it together.”

“We’ve literally just been waiting for their schedules, given that they’re pretty in-demand guys. Both of them. We’ve just been waiting for their schedules to mesh. For them to both be free at the same time. That’s the only thing that’s stopping it from happening. It’ll happen eventually, I’m sure.”

So, Darabont offered-up two confirmations – just not necessarily things that will happen in season 2. So what do fans have to look forward to? Well, one of the main criticisms of the season 1 arc was that unlike in comic series, where characters are constantly in peril and die in shocking ways, the vast majority of the cast came through the first six episodes virtually unscathed.

That, perhaps, is coming to an end. Darabont says about the characters:

“I love them all, I really care about them all and I really hate that we’ve killed some of them. I feel dirty when I do it.”

So now with 13 episodes to fill, The Walking Dead might actually start to see the body count jump with the deaths of a few series regulars – not just the population at large. Having deviated significantly from the source material, it’s anyone’s guess which character will meet his or her untimely demise in the upcoming season’s storyline, though.

Based on a recent casting call, the storyline will be heavily centered on the Hershel farm and the inhabitants who managed to survive the zombie outbreak (along with some who didn’t). Of course we don’t yet know how much of the season will be set at the Hershel farm, but with the more decompressed storytelling of the series, it’s looking more and more likely that characters like the Governor may have to join Michonne in waiting for season 3.

Currently filming in the Atlanta area, The Walking Dead season 2 is easily on the short list of the most anticipated shows this fall. With four months (and change) remaining until the second season premieres, there’s still plenty of time for some juicy story news to develop – so stay tuned.

Season 2 of The Walking Dead is expected to premiere October 31 on AMC.

Source: FEARnet, Collider