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THE WALKING DEAD Comic-Con Panel Recap

Posted on July 11, 2015 at 9:29 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

the-walking-dead-season-5-andrew-lincoln-norman-reedus-slice

Season six of AMC’s The Walking Dead will be returning in a big way this fall. Not only does the premiere feature the most Walker extras to date (654 to be exact), but the season six opener will debut at Madison Square Garden to a sure-to-be packed house. See what the cast and creative team of TV’s biggest and boldest series had to say about the upcoming season in our Comic-Con panel recap below.

Panel Highlights

  • Chris Hardwick reminds the audience that The Walking Dead panel is actually just a Talking Dead panel
  • Season 6 premiere (654 Walker extras, largest to date); Sunday Oct 11 9pm on AMC – 90 minute premiere, followed by (Talking Dead at 10:30)
  • the-walking-dead-season-5-finale-image-ross-marquand-norman-reedus-600x400Talking Dead preview – Sunday August 23rd at 8pm
  • 5 Sundays, 5 Seasons on AMC, starting July 26th at 2:30pm
  • On the panel: (All wearing Robert Kirkman shirts) Scott M. Gimple, Gale Ann Hurd, Dave Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Melissa McBride, Lennie James (first time on the panel), Sonequa Martin Green, and of course Norman Reedus
  • New cast for season six: Corey Hawkins as Heath, Ethan Embry, and Merrit Weaver as a comic book character
  • Gimple made a public service announcement: “Cory (Brill) is not a porch-dick, he just plays one on TV.”
  • Nicotero shared some Walker pictures from season six, including some rotten Walkers with lots of plant life growing on them. “Every year we get more decomposition on these guys.” Nicotero directed the 90-minute premiere episode.
  • Hurd announced that this year is in celebration of fans and international fans, with 125 countries, 250 million households getting The Walking Dead within 24 hours of the U.S. premiere.

Footage

They showed us the Season 6 trailer, which you can watch above. Rick runs a bloody road outside of Alexandria, but most of the action takes place within the walled city. It seems like most of the action will be taking place there this season, at least in the early part, and most of the drama will come from the conflict between Rick and his group against the Alexandrians. It’s not entirely clear how everything will play out just yet, but new arrival Morgan (James) is clearly not on board with Rick’s aggressive tactics.

The first look at the trailer ends with Daryl in peril once again, apparently kidnapped by a group of bandits (Wolves?).

Audience Q&A

  • Will season 6 explore the power struggle between Rick and Morgan, or will it show the fundamental the-walking-dead-lennie-james-600x600challenges of Rick’s leadership style. Gimple: “We sometimes play with the truth in trailers.” Rick will be faced with the repercussions of his actions at the end of season five.
  • Will we get to see some more flashbacks into characters’ pasts? Gimple: “There’s definitely some playing with time, but not quite as much as last season.” Expect a lot of flashbacks in the first half of the season, including an episode that’s all (or mostly) a flashback.
  • Will the Wolves of the season five finale be a part of season six? Gimple: “The Wolves will be a part of season six, hopefully in a way you don’t expect.”
  • Does Rick miss the beard? Does Lincoln? Lincoln: “My wife doesn’t miss the beard.” Calls the day he lost the beard the weirdest day of his life when he got in the shower naked in front of his crew. He misses the beard and will grow it back as soon as possible. Steven Yeun told him he looked like he had a shrunken head without the beard. Gimple says that Rick’s beard is a metric for his character in the show and the comics.
  • How is the relationship between Rick and Deanna this season? Lincoln says there’s a lot of respect between the leaders, but also a lot of strain because of the separation of experience dealing with the Walkers.
  • What’s Michonne’s opinion of Carol’s housewife disguise? Gurira: “I’ve always yearned for more interaction between Michonne and Carol.” There’s respect between the women for the way in which they’ve been able to carry themselves, but their tactics are quite different.
  • When Michonne had to neutralize Rick in season five, she actually connected with him on one of the takes. Gurira: “I thought I almost knocked him out.”
  • Why didn’t Glenn kill Nicholas? Yeun: “He’s got beautiful eyes, you can see into his soul.” Yeun calls Glenn a better person than he is, but points to the complexity of the social situation in Alexandria as to why he restrained himself. There’s also the idea that Glenn saw an earlier version of himself in Nicholas, and didn’t want to take that opportunity for a normal life away from Nicholas.
  • the-walking-dead-season-5-finale-image-401x600Lauren Cohan couldn’t be at the panel because she’s visiting family, in case you were wondering. Yeun reads a personalized text from Cohan that ends with, “can you please say something funny at the end?”
  • Yeun calls Glenn and Maggie’s relationship a symbiotic one that hopes to preserve their old way of life.
  • What’s Morgan been up to? James: “Painting, getting to know himself.” James says we may find out what Morgan’s been up to, but the main thing is that he’s been looking for Rick and isn’t exactly thrilled when he finds him.
  • How will Morgan’s presence affect Rick? James: “Morgan and Rick have a particular kind of man-love that goes on.” The important thing in their relationship is that Rick is the last person on Earth who knows him, which is why Morgan seeks him out. Expect fallout from the end of season five.
  • Is Carl feeling at home in Alexandria? Riggs: “I think Carl sees Alexandria as a restart button, living life the way it should be lived.”
  • What do we hope Sasha learns in season six? Green talks about being proud of her performance of someone with PTSD and hopes that she can reflect on the mistakes she’s made in order to find her way to a place of healing.
  • What are Carol’s biggest challenges in concealing her true identity? McBride: “She had really important work to do in finding out what these people could and couldn’t do, so it was difficult to keep her cover.”
  • How would Carol have reacted to Tyreese’s death? McBride: “Every death is heartbreaking.” She says that Carol’s driving force is to try and keep her friends and family alive, and every death fuels that ambition.
  • What’s Ford’s defining moment? Cudlitz: “I think his defining moment is yet to come.” McBride: “I might agree.” Cudlitz: “I just want to live in a world where Carol bakes cookies and gives flowers to everyone.”
  • Nicotero says that Abraham Ford gets the best written dialogue on the show.
  • As for “Who’s Deanna?” that delivery was all Cudlitz, says Gimple.
  • walking-dead-season-5-image-andrew-lincoln-600x400Anything Reedus does to get into character for Daryl? Reedus: “A lot of Motorhead, coffee, play Candy Crush a lot.”
  • When someone asks Reedus what his favorite emoji is, he asks, “Are these my fucking questions right now? Candy Crush and emojis?” to lots of laughter.
  • What’s the darkest season so far for Daryl? Reedus: “I found my character in the first scene that I was on, but I started to trust these other characters along the way … There’s a little bit of darkness all over the place.”
  • More afraid of the Wolves or the Omega Herd? Yeun: “They should be afraid of us.” Cudlitz: “Bring it. I’m more concerned with the living than the dead.”
  • Lincon’s mother wants Rick and Michonne to get together soon.
  • (Daryl cosplayer) What kind of character development can we expect to see from Daryl this season? Reedus: “Did you just call me enormous?” Fan: “It might have been a Freudian slip.” Reedus: “From the moment you stood up I knew I liked you.”

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