Frank Darabont on ‘Walking Dead’ Season 2: He’s Going Back to Prison!

Speaking at the Paley Festival Saturday, “Shawshank” director says he’ll take his hit AMC zombie series to place he’s quite comfortable with, the penitentiary

The line, "I was always free … in here" probably works better when Tim Robbins says it rather than a zombie, but that won't keep producer Frank Darabont from veering the narrative for his hit AMC series "The Walking Dead" into (you guessed it) a prison for a season two storyline.

"I keep getting sent back to prison," quipped the director of the incarceration classic "The Shawshank Redemption," while talking about his comic-book-based zombie drama at the Paley Festival in Los Angeles Saturday (The Futon Critic was there and has a rather thorough transcript).

With Darabont and company about to head into the writer's room, and shooting set to begin in May (season two will debut on AMC in October), the creator/showrunner shared some season-two story tidbits. Among them, the human resistance will try to take shelter in a prison, as originally described in comic author Robert Kirkman's source material.

"It's such a damn good idea though," added Darabont. "That moment in the comic where I read it and went, 'That's too damn cool not to do.' It's such a great idea: 'Oh look, safety! Cut to the worst possible place in the world."

In fact, for season two, Darabont plans to adhere fairly closely to Kirkman's comic … within reason, noting that with the completion of the season-one finale, during which the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta self destructs, "We will then veer back onto the path that Robert established. We don't want to limit ourselves just in the box of making the comic-book fans happy. We're making a show for everybody."

For the second season, Darabont has invited each actor to come into the writers room and pitch ideas. Sarah Wayne Callies (who was also on hand Saturday at the Paley Center) suggested that people should die from causes other than zombie bites. After all, the Rite Aid isn't exactly well-stocked these days.

"What are the consequences when there's no Theraflu?" she wondered.