Comic-Con: Zombie-loving crowd eats up 'The Walking Dead' trailer
Yesterday, I interviewed "Walking Dead" producer Frank Darabont on how he's adapting Robert Kirkman's zombie apocalypse comic book series to the screen for AMC. That was before I got to see footage of the show, which was screened early in the show's Comic-Con panel this morning.
Before the sizzle reel, Darabont was asked if he needed to set up the clip.
"It's a show about zombies," he said. "Roll it."
And I will say this (with the usual caveat that it's easier to make a good trailer than a good show or movie): zombies aren't really my thing, but that trailer looked terrific. Great make-up work (by zombie specialist Greg Nicotero, who was on the panel), great production design on the abandoned, ruined post-zombie civilization, lots of chills, etc. The crwod went nuts for it, and eagerly watched it again at the end of the panel.
During the panel, Darabont rehashed several things he said to me, but after the jump I have a few additional details:
For starters, Kirkman himself was on stage, and we were told he had written the fourth of the show's six episodes.
"It's remarkable," he said. "You hear horror stories about adaptations, and every step along the way has been perfect. It's really bizarre. I feel blessed, I guess."
Longtime "Walking Dead" artist Charlie Adlard will actually play a zombie in one episode, an offer that Kirkman declined.
"I decided it was too sticky and didn't partake."
Darabont told fans that "Battlestar Galactica" composer Bear McCreary will do the score for the series, and briefly pulled McCreary from the audience onto the stage so he could discuss how he doesn't want to just do the same minor-key riffs that you usually get with the genre.
"Prison Break" alum Sarah Wayne Callies, who plays Lori, the wife of main character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), was literally shaking as she came on stage from seeing the footage for the first time, and later said that while she loves the show, "I've been going home trying to get out of my head what the show has put in. Greg Nicotero has ruined my life."
Darabont, producer Gale Anne Hurd and AMC executive Joel Stillerman all insisted the show wouldn't pull its punches, even though the sizzle reel itself was, Hurd told us later, softened a bit "because this is a family convention."
Which means the actual show is going to be brimming with gore.
"This show is gonna be chock full of dead children," boasted Kirkman. "Watch out!"