‘Walking Dead’ to haunt Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios event to feature mazes based on AMC series

Universal Studios already is prepping for its annual Halloween Horror Nights event, inking a deal with AMC to build mazes based on “The Walking Dead” at both of its Hollywood and Orlando theme parks.

It’s unusual for the parks to include the same mazes. But that’s been changing with more high-profile properties. Last year’s event also featured a maze based on U’s horror prequel “The Thing,” at the parks. This year, both parks will also include a maze based on the “Silent Hill” videogames and films.

But the AMC deal stands out because “The Walking Dead” becomes the first TV series featured at both “Horror Nights” events.

Maze will have guests escape mobs of zombies designed to resemble the “walkers” from the show. Universal Studios’ Halloween creative teams are working with AMC and “The Walking Dead” to re-create locations and scenes from the show.

“With ‘The Walking Dead,’ we want to make fans of the series feel like they are literally walking in the footsteps of the show’s characters, experiencing all of the horrific events from the series just as they experienced them,” said John Murdy, creative director at Universal Studios Hollywood. “The goal is to make guests of Halloween Horror Nights feel like they are trapped in the world of ‘The Walking Dead,’ using all of the attention to detail and movie-quality production values that Halloween Horror Nights has become famous for.”

Series is based on the comicbook penned by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics.

“We want people to experience the same terror of the walker-filled reality our characters faced in seasons one and two and will continue to face in our third season,” said Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer and special effects make-up artist for the series. “Our collaboration with Universal Studios’ creative teams is exciting as we work to truly capture the essence of the show.”

Naturally, the maze will also help AMC market the third season of “The Walking Dead,” bowing round the time of “Halloween Horror Nights” in October.

“The collaboration with Universal Studios’ creative teams is a fantastic cross-promotional opportunity and a great way to capture the spirit of the series,” said Linda Schupack, AMC’s executive VP of marketing.