Glen Mazzara opened up about why he left the AMC series. During a panel discussion at the annual National Association of Television Program Executives Conference, Mazzara said he was never in complete control of the hit zombie drama.
“When people involved with the show are looking at the long-term plan, you know, they want something different. And what those differences are, you’d have to ask AMC,” Mazzara said, according to Deadline.com.
AMC renewed "The Walking Dead" for Season 4 in December and announced Mazzara would not return as showrunner, painting the split as amicable. Mazzara took over as "Walking Dead" showrunner after the show's creator Frank Darabont left in early Season 2.
"My time as showrunner on 'The Walking Dead' has been an amazing experience, but after I finish Season 3, it’s time to move on," Mazarra said in a statement at the time. "I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey."
However, reports quickly surfaced that Robert Kirkman, the writer and co-creator of the Image Comics series the AMC series is based on, had a hand in forcing Mazzara out. The Hollywood Reporter also quoted sources as saying Mazzara clashed with other producers.
“When you’re the creator, you can say, 'This is what the show is,'" Mazzara said at NAPTE, according to THR. “I didn't create the show. I didn’t create the comic book, so I’m just glad I was able to contribute.”
Mazzara said he got notes about scripts from the network, producers and even the actors. "There’s no way you can take every note,” he said. “There’s no way you can make everybody happy. So I'd just sort of go through and do a rewrite on the entire script trying to include all of those different voices, all of those different perspectives ... At the end of the day, though, you’re never going to get consensus. So that’s where I have to say, 'I feel this is the best possible script.' … At the end of the day, somebody has to make the call. Otherwise, it’s just chaos."
Scott Gimple will take over as series showrunner, the third in the show's four seasons.
Click over to THR for more from Mazzara on his "Walking Dead" exit.
"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, February 10 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.