Comic-Con 2012 Live-Blog: AMC's 'The Walking Dead'
You name 'em, we've got 'em for this panel, which will feature stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan, plus showrunner Glen Mazzara, comic creator (and series executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert and makeup genius (and co-executive producer) Greg Nicotero.
Oh and you know how the upcoming season will feature the introductions of fan-favorite characters The Governor and Michonne? Well, new stars David Morrissey and Danai Gurira are here as well.
Click through for the live-blog.
1:25 p.m. Only a couple minutes late...
1:32 p.m. Many people in here have read "Walking Dead" No. 100. I have not.
1:32 p.m. Chris Hardwick is moderating. He promises surprises. The first surprise, Robert Kirkman comes out and gives Hardwick a big hug from behind and rubs his belly. I think Gale Anne Hurd should get more applause from this crowd, darnit.
1:34 p.m. "We open on a scene of I Can't Tell You and then it quickly transitions into another scene of You'll Just Have To Wait and See," Kirkman teases of the new season. More concretely, he praises production designer Grace Walker for her construction of the Prison. "It doesn't look like a back lot," Kirkman promises.
1:35 p.m. Hardwick mocks Dave Navarro for not liking the start of Season 2, because there weren't enough zombies. Nicotero says that he's always changing the contact lenses and dentures on the zombies, constantly trying to mix things up. "We're really trying to sell that they're decomposing and emaciated and hungry and that there are a LOT of them," Nicotero says, adding that the zombie volume from the end of the season will be maintained. Nicotero says that he's going to be using some animatronic puppets and new zombie techniques that he didn't have the chance to do last season. Nicotero, by the way, just finished directing his first episode. "It's important to me to make sure that the character stuff is grounded," Nicotero says of his episode, saying that he has three iconic moments from the graphic novel in his episode. "It was really challenging. It was eight of the hardest days of my career. But the most rewarding," he says.
1:39 p.m. "This season, it's been fantastic, because we have not only the Prison location, but we're introducing Woodbury," Hurd teases. Hardwick was excited by both the reveal of Michonne and the Prison. Good for him. "The intensity level is incredible and we've got our cast inoculated now. The new people realize just what they're in for and the level that we expect and they've become just as passionate about 'The Walking Dead' as the rest of us already are," Hurd says.
1:42 p.m. "I really think we're in the zone on this one. It's exciting and we keep pushing each other," says Mazzara. The big question: How true can they stick to some of the awful things that happen to the characters in the comic. "It's about staying raw, visceral, bring it every week," Mazzara says, noting the importance of staying true to the spirit of the comic.
1:43 p.m. "The Walking Dead" returns on Sunday, October 14 at 9 p.m. That's one big announcement. A second big announcement is that the new season will roll out on October 15 and the rest of that week around the world.
1:45 p.m. Exclusive clip. Michonne! A chopper goes down. The Prison! Zombies! More zombies! Guess what, kids... They aren't the only survivors. THE GOVERNOR! But only a blurry governor. The guy in front of me is recording this on his iPhone, so I assume this is going to be up soon. Moron. I'd beat him senseless if I weren't live-blogging. More of The Governor! "Welcome to Woodbury." NICE. David Morrissey doesn't look like the Governor from the books, but he looks very intriguing. It actually looks like there are some big narrative changes from the comic, but I won't spoil them. Plus... MICHAEL ROOKER!
1:52 p.m. "I think I'm having an out-of-body experience right now. This is insane," says Andrew Lincoln, who calls the shooting schedule "hot and brutal... and we love it that way." Lincoln tells the crowd that, "Without you, this show wouldn't exist," comparing Comic-Con to coming home.
1:53 p.m. "It's wonderful. Even though I know that there are some of you who are made at me. And that's cool. We can talk about it later," Sarah Wayne Callies says of coming to Comic-Con. She talks about how much better it is getting feedback from fans, rather than stupid yucky smelly icky TV critics. She doesn't say *all* of that. But it's implied. Strongly.
1:54 p.m. "We love each other and our jobs and you guys rock," says Norman Reedus, who has fans among the ladies in attendance. "Everybody loves a redneck," he cracks. "I love playing him. I keep finding new things about him all the time," Reedus says.
1:55 p.m. What's Andrea going through now, Hardwick asks Laurie Holden. She is, indeed, isolated, albeit with Michonne. "It's a very different season for Andrea, because she's separated from the group. It's a wonderful journey actually," Holden teases. Holden says that she bonded quickly with Danai Gurira and they she makes up songs and sings them to her. "I think you're going to love her as Michonne," she says.
1:57 p.m. "You can't just dive in. You've gotta play it right," Steven Yeun says of Glenn's difficulties embracing love. He likes Glenn's arc of going from a boy to a man. "Third season is just manning up and doing what he's supposed to be doing. It's a blast," he says. But he doesn't want to spoil any of that man-becoming.
2:02 p.m. Danai says that her secret fitness routine involves cherries, which are good for joints.
2:03 p.m. Time for David Morrissey. "I came into the show as a fan," Morrissey says. "I knew it had a great cast and I new it had great writing and production values," he says, before praising the entire crew. "People want to be there," he says. "I've always wanted to come to Comic-Con," he panders effectively. How are things different with an American production rather than British? "The heat. In the UK, we don't really get the heat like you have in Georgia." He compares it to "Doctor Who" as a show that has high production values and stuff in the UK.
2:05 p.m. What has happened to Rick's sense of good and evil? Lincoln has a hard time saying anything. He compares this to "The Road." He saved reading the book for now, because he thinks that Rick is in that mode. "Rick has isolated himself from the group and in his marriage. That's the way that he's protecting everybody," Lincoln says, adding that in the past few weeks, he's been going "bats*** crazy" and "bananas." He also says that the season is about Rick realizing he needs other people to survive.
2:07 p.m. Our first questioner is from Brazil. She wants to know what other role Lincoln might want to play. "I'm having a bromance at the moment with Norman Reedus," he says, before praising Carl and Chandler Riggs, who "makes choices that are way beyond his years."
2:09 p.m. Our next question is in a Rick Grimes costume, but his name is Carl. He wants to know how the British actors have developed their accents. They have a dialect coach named Jessica Drake. "Andy sets an amazing example. He does his accent from the second he arrives, til he leaves," Lauren Cohan says. She cautions, though, that if she spends too much time around the Teamsters, she ends up with an accent that's too thick. "I'm like a sponge. I just sort of absorb inflection," Lincoln says. He says he spends a lot of time at a coffee shop in Atlanta, because his character is based on tension. Lincoln admits that the producers had to dial back his accent after the very first scene he did with Jon Bernthal.
2:12 p.m. A questioner is VERY excited by how they got away with Andrea and Shane's raunchiness form last season. "We didn't show anything! You should have seen what we did that got cut," Holden kids after everybody mocks the questioner.
2:13 p.m. "I'm a lady who loves sweaty rednecks," says a questioner. Norman tells her to call him. "I was on a dating show. I know how this s*** works," Hardwick says. Are we ever going to know the history of Daryl Dixon? Kirkman uses this as a way to plug for an upcoming game, which is all about Daryl and Meryl killing zombies in the early days of the epidemic.
2:16 p.m. A questioner now says she loves Steven, who turns red. It turns out that the questioner is 12. How would Steven do if he was stuck in a real-life apocalypse? "The chances of me surviving? I can be resourceful, but also I'm sometimes a little lazy, so it depends how it all works out," Yeun says, noting that if the situation included a lot of attractive women and just him, "I'll stay." He adds, "If not, if there's just a bunch of bros, maybe I'll just lay down and let one bite me."
2:17 p.m. Will Daryl ever make the jump to the comic? "Never. No," he says. Kirkman says that he has things plotted out way in advance, so there's no chance of him changing.
2:18 p.m. Another very young female fan loves Steven. "We no your demographic now Steven and we know you should not be allowed at Legoland," Hardwick cracks. The girl wants to know who's most like their character and who's least like it. "I look a lot like him," Lincoln says. Bizarre that that still gets laughs. "I would hope I'm pretty different from Laurie in my significant ways," Callies says. The crowd laughs. Callies says that people accost her and her daughter and confuse her with her character. Reedus proves he isn't like his character because when he went out fishing with his son, they didn't cast anything. Why not? Because he used bacon as bait. Laurie Holden says that she's getting closer to Andrea personally. Yeun says that early-on, Glenn was a reflection of who he was when he was younger, but he doesn't think he's currently similar. "I think Maggie's kinda a romantic. That's what I have in common. And my weapon skills are pretty amazing," Cohan says. "Sometimes I wish I was more like her. She's so insanely sharp and her instincts are so spot on," Gurira says. "I have a bit of a lioness in me and she's all lioness," Gurira adds. Morrissey gives a very good answer about how we hope for the best for ourselves in pressure circumstances, but you never know until you're put under pressure.
2:25 p.m. Greg Nicotero went through the crowd and found a woman who he wants to make a zombie head for. Was this completely at random? Weird.
2:26 p.m. Last question: Why do you make the women on the show so freaky? Why don't the women ever take over themselves? "That's a great idea. Maybe they will," Mazzara says. Callies protests that Laurie took control last season and that Rick only survived because she told him to watch his back.
2:27 p.m. Oh and apologies. I lost battery life in the part where the actors talked about how they don't complain about the heat so much anymore, because the prison soundstage is too cold. If you cared about what you missed.
That's all, folks...