Deadline Comic-Con TV correspondent Gary Hodges filed his report:
UPDATED: The Walking Dead (AMC) enjoys an overlap of fans at Comic-Con, both fans of the series and the graphic novel it’s based on. The panel held off bringing out the cast at first, instead introducing writer/director/producer Frank Darabont, makeup artist Greg Nicotero, and executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman (who’s also the writer of the comic book series). Hurd was the first to make news, announcing that the season premiere of season 2 would air Sunday, October 16th at its new time, 9pm. A trailer was next (video below), which did a good job of creating a feeling of dread but with too many fast cuts to discern anything specific about future episodes. (People fleeing zombies, shooting at zombies, hiding from zombies. And so on.) It closes with spoken dialogue: “I guess I’m losing hope. But like I said, it’s all about slim chances now. And a slim chance is better than none.”
With that, the cast came on stage: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen and Jeffrey DeMunn. Holden alluded season 2 might stay close to the source material by announcing “If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead graphic novel, I think you’re going to be really happy this season,” much to the delight of the crowd. Yeon was asked to walk the audience through a normal day on set, and he described morning and evening “tick checks.” “There’s ticks where we shoot,” in Georgia, he said. “One climbed my… mountain, and planted a flag on the peak of my mountain.”
Asked when season 2 picks up, Darabont replied “It picks up about 5 seconds before the end of last season… none of this bullshit ‘six months later’ stuff.” And really, that was all the audience was able to pry from the panel’s clutches. The remaining questions asked were run of the mill: Reedus was asked whether working on The Walking Dead or a Lady Gaga video was weirder (“By far, The Walking Dead.”), and another asked Nicotero if he had advice for aspiring makeup artists (take pictures of your work and build a portfolio), and the cast in general was asked if it was hard to work on such a bleak, grimy show and then go back to normal life at the end of each day. They agreed: not really – “you just go back to tick checks.”
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Darabont also said that he had no problem finding new writers after most of the writing stuff from the first season was let go. “No, we’ve got people coming to the table going, ‘Wow, we love this and we want to be a part of it,’ and that’s a really cool thing,” he said. Asked about his dream casting on the show, executive producer Robert Kirkman, on whose comic the series is based, chanted, “Ed O’Neill, Ed O’Neill, and Ed O’Neill.” If he is too busy with his hit comedy Modern Family, “My second go-to is John Stamos.”
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