The struggle for survival in AMC’s The Walking Dead hasn’t gotten any easier, but that doesn’t mean the cast and crew are in a bad mood or something, and a huge amount of them brought their smiling faces to San Diego Comic-Con‘s Hall H on Friday. Actors Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz, and Lennie James joined executive producer and showrunner Scott Gimple, executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert, and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero took to the stage in a chat moderated by (who else?) our founder and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.
Chris is wearing his finest Rick cosplay, calling it technically the Talking Dead panel.
It’s the biggest episode ever, with 654 zombie extras. October 11th is the premiere of Season 6 with a 90 minute episode!
Rick and Morgan reunite. People in the neighborhood don’t understand what’s going on. Rick don’t take chances anymore. Keep everybody safe. Opening the walls, taking them out. These people have to take care of themselves. Rick vs. Daryl. The world isn’t what you thought it was. But you still know your way. Ignoring the problem, guess what, doesn’t seem to be working. Trusting Rick…maybe not the best idea. And then just zombie carnage on an epic scale! Wow. October 11th is going to be amazing. Epilogue with Daryl looking badass.
Everybody has a Robert Kirkman t-shirt on. Hilarious. Melissa McBride with her plate of cookies. Norman Reedus Parascoping.
Gimple lets it fly that the Season 6 premiere will be held in NYC at Madison Square Garden. Tickets here! http://www.amcthewalkingdead.com.
Gimple: We sometimes play with the truth in trailers. Rick is absolutely faced with challenges to the way he does things. Cory Brill is NOT a porch dick, he just plays one on TV. People might be looking at Rick a little differently.
A little bit of flashbackery, not as much as last year.
Will the wolves play a big part? Yes, hopefully in a way you don’t expect.
Do you think Rick misses the beard? Lincoln: My wife doesn’t miss the beard. The beard is a means of showing how grubby and low Rick is in life. When he shaved the beard when he went to Alexandria, it was a mirror…and it was in a mirror.
Where are Rick and Deanna when the season begins? Lincoln: Genuine respect between the two. He realizes he’s amongst innocents. Deanna allowed Rick to commit that execution at the end, as a means of saying Rick was right.
Michonne has a profound respect for Carol. Gurira: “Michonne decided to stop being the isolated character in Season 4 and has consistently been going on that track and reconnecting with all these people. But the Terminus people obliterated trust.” Hardwick: “Michonne was a calm presence and then she has to break apart.” Gurira hit Andy Lincoln for real, because that was the best take.
Scott Gimple just remembered there’s actually a LOT of flashbacks this year. What a liar.
Why didn’t Glen kill Nicholas?!?! Yuen: “He’s got beautiful eyes. Glen is a better person than me. It’s a very complex situation. Glen understand what it means to cross that threshold and Glen’s already won so there was no reason to kill him other than just his own spite. Glen is hoping Nicholas will be redeemed, but also it’s a line Glen doesn’t want to cross.”
Lauren Cohan couldn’t be here, but she loves every single one of us.
Yuen: Glen and Maggie keep each other grounded.
Let’s talk about Morgan! What does Lennie James think Morgan was doing? “Painting; getting to know himself. We might find out this season. One of the things was trying to find Rick, and then he did and wish he hasn’t.” What will Morgan’s presence do for Rick? James: “Morgan and Rick have a particular kind of man-love. Rick is the last person on the planet who knows Morgan.”
Does Carl feel at home in Alexandria? Riggs: “Definitely. It’s a chance to restart and live life the way it should be lived.” He went into shock when he saw the vulnerable kids playing video games. He has sympathy for them and wants to show them how life actually is.
How would Michonne react to Carl following Enid? Riggs: “Enid’s the only person who gets it. But it’s not safe out there.” Gurira: “It’s probably better Michonne didn’t know. They’re friends and she wouldn’t keep him locked up, but also wants to keep him safe.”
What would Season 5 Carl tell Season 1 Carl? Nicotero: “Kill that walker in the swamp that kills Dale.”
Martin-Green: Sasha’s breakdown last year was about PTSD. She realizes she isn’t the kind of person her loved ones wanted her to be.
What is Carol’s biggest challenge of concealing who she “really” is to the Alexandrians? McBride: “Not having her cover blown. Finding out who everybody was and what they’re capable of.” Does she miss Tyrese? McBride: “Yes, every death is heartbreaking. She can’t stand around and watch people die, and she’s ready to pay the price if she has to.
What does Cudlitz admire most about Abraham? “Pure honesty. There’s no agenda.” Nicotero: “He gets the best-written dialogue on the show.” Then Cudlitz shouted “Who’s Deanna?!” Gimple: “Michael took two words and turned it into an epic film.”
Special stuff to get into character for Daryl? Reedus: “Motorhead. Lotta Candy Crush.”
What was the darkest season for Daryl in terms of sanity and morals? Reedus: “It changes all the time.” Daryl thought about taking the town at the end of Season 5 when Rick shot that guy.
Blooper reel!!! Hilarity.
More afraid of the mega-herd or the wolves? Lincoln: “I’m not afraid of anything at the moment.” Yuen: “They should be afraid of us.” McBride: “Wolves can hide.”
Who’s going to be next cast member from The Wire to make an appearance? Gimple: We’re not done with that cast yet.
Also Ethan Embry and Merritt Weaver will be in the cast this season.
Michonne is the only one who can check Rick. Lincoln: “My mom is desperate for Rick and Michonne to get together.” Gimple: “I’ve received the calls from your mom.”
Gimple: “These guys have been doing a horror movie for six years.”
Hardwick: “I didn’t know I’d be everyone’s damn zombie therapist! When someone dies, I’m the first dumb face everybody sees.”
Reedus bonded with an awesome Daryl cosplayer.
Nicotero brought some exclusive walker pictures, including a grotty rotty zombie, and one that’s fused to a tree. He directed the premiere episode of Season 6.
The international premiere will be within 24 hours of US premiere, in 150 countries worldwide.
Thanks for reading, and head over to my Fear the Walking Dead panel live blog next!