Some of The Walking Dead gang got back together tonight at A&E’s Damien panel at Comic-Con. Scott Wilson joined former TWD showruner and Damien EP Glen Mazzara onstage. Killed off on TWD two seasons ago, the former Hershel Greene actor will play a mysterious power broker on the small-screen sequel to The Omen. The panel showed a clip with Wilson from Damien before bringing the actor out.
Wilson has been a frequent presence at SDCC the past few years, but this is the first time Mazzara has been back at the confab since he exited TWD suddenly in late 2012. Now he’s handling a different type of apocalypse — more heavenly than zombies.
“We’re taking the Jesus story and turning it on its head,” Mazzara said Thursday of his self-described Antichrist series, which premieres next year on A&E. “Which I’m sure will piss a lot of people off,” the EP and writer added to applause in Ballroom 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. The ex-TWD showrunner called Damien a direct sequel to the 1976 horror classic that picks up with the devil’s son now 30 years old. Mazzara said they chose that age because that’s when Christ started his works.
“Hopefully this is something that people fall in love with and come back season after season,” Mazzara added. “We have a long story to tell.” The EP and Wilson were joined by Damien himself, Bradley James, and Barbara Hershey. In the show, the still discovering his evil powers Damien character is a war photographer.
The panelists had expected to announce a premiere date for Damien, but no such luck. Originally set to air on Lifetime, the straight-to-series drama shifted over to A&E in late April. Part of the decision was to match Damien with Bates Motel, now just finished its third season. “When we switched we didn’t have to retool the show,” Mazarra told the ballroom audience.
The producer also said he didn’t want to cause any specific offense to the devout with Damien. “They watch TV too,” Mazarra said of Christians, pointing out to that he has a member of the clergy in his own family. Earlier today Damien guerrilla marketers were side-by-side with evangelicals out in front of the SD Convention Center. Mazzara didn’t directly shy away from that but he asserted that his Omen sequel was not aiming for cheap laughs. “We’re going for the tone of the first movie,” the EP added. “It’s about the humanity.”
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