At long last, the wait for 'The Walking Dead's season 3 return is nearly over with the imminent arrival of this Sunday's premiere "The Suicide King." And while fans of the AMC horror series eagerly await answers to the questions of Daryl Dixon's fate, and the newly-escalated war between Woodbury's Governor and Rick Grimes, at least one question may remain unanswered: what could have caused show-runner Glen Mazzara to part ways with the series before season 4? New comments from Mazzara may reveal a new side to the story, so check out the latest 'Walking Dead' scoop inside!

Much as the first eight episodes of 'The Walking Dead's third season excited fans in a way the series never had before, the second half of the new season under show-runner Glen Mazzara will undoubtedly deliver even more. So why then, was AMC's announcement of a fourth season renewal coupled with the departure of Mazzara, who many credit with the series' best episodes to date?

Previously silent about the departure, Mazzara gave new comments over the exit to The Hollywood Reporter, specifically saying that AMC's vision of the fourth season differed insurmountably from his own:

It was really about moving forward. As we were looking at bringing the story forward into season four it was clear that AMC and I were moving in different directions. We came to a mutual decision to part ways. It was a difficult decision because we're all proud of the work we've done together. It was for the best direction of the show and I'm happy with work I've done and I'm excited to develop my own stuff. My vision for the show is on the screen.

Mazzara continued to stress that "everything about my decision to leave the show was about moving forward in season four," begging the question of what specifically AMC intended to do differently. Shortly after the second season finale ended, Mazzara was on record with a number of reports suggesting that the show's prison arc could potentially stretch into a fourth season as well, but it remains to be seen whether AMC chooses to move the series to another location, or keep on with existing sets.

Fans of the comic well know that Robert Kirkman's version kept the survivors in the prison setting much longer than the Atlanta campsite or Hershel's farm before it, but thus far AMC's version has kept to an accelerated timeline, even with its own individual variations on the major events. Could escalating production costs of the series from season to season have necessitated a change?

We'll see how the story plays out when 'The Walking Dead' resumes its third season this Sunday on AMC, but what do you think? Will the fourth season under writer Scott Gimple keep on with the prison, or move the story to a new location? Check out the latest trailer below, and give us your predictions for 'The Walking Dead' seasons 3 and 4 in the comments!

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