Robert Kirkman has delivered another shocking horror series.
The Walking Dead creator debuted his new series Outcast at the South by Southwest film festival on Monday. The upcoming Cinemax series is adapted from Kirkman’s comic about demonic possession and exorcism.
The first episode’s climactic exorcism scene involves — spoiler alert for those who have not read the comic — the show’s troubled hero Kyle Barnes (Gone Girl‘s Patrick Fugit) violently and repeatedly punching a possessed 10-year-old child in the face. Previously the character revealed such a method for driving out a demon worked for him in the past.
“He was a monster and he deserved it,” joked Fugit when asked about the scene, then added of the young actor: “He was such a little trouper.”
“We were definitely pushed to push boundaries,” Kirkman said later of his working relationship with Cinemax. “We never want to do anything gratuitous, but pushing boundaries and doing the unexpected is very freeing … I love my kids and sometimes I sit around and think, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen?’ ”
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Kirkman also announced the show’s premiere date (June 3) and that the series has already been picked up for a second season.
Back in 2010, Kirkman’s Walking Dead famously opened with a zombified little girl in bunny slippers being shot by the show’s hero. But Outcast could cause a bit more controversy as people have died when those who believe in possession try to perform a so-called exorcism.
Outcast follows Barnes as a man plagued by demonic possession who embarks on a journey with an evangelical preacher (Philip Glenister) to find answers and regain the life he lost.
The show is one of two religious-themed new thrillers making their debut at South by Southwest on Monday, with AMC’s Preacher screening and panel set for later in the day. Plus, Fox has a pilot in the works remaking the classic horror film The Exorcist as a TV series.