With its Season 8 premiere date revealed earlier this week, The Walking Dead’s Comic-Con panel this year opened today with a tribute to fatally injured stuntman John Bernecker and a trailer for the upcoming Season 8. The new season debuts on October 22 with the AMC blockbuster’s 100th episode
“John passed away last week after he was injured doing something he loved,” said showrunner Scott M. Gimple at the beginning of the panel in a packed Hall H “He helped make movies and shows for people like everyone in this room,’ he added of Bernecker, who died in an accident on TWD’s set on July 12. “He was living his dream,” Gimple concluded.
Friday’s panel followed spin-off Fear The Walking Dead’s panel that began with a moment of silence in Hall H for Bernecker. Production on TWD‘s eighth season halted on July 12 right after the accident and resumed on July 17 in Georgia.
After the tribute to Bernecker, TWD unveiled a new trailer for Season 8 (Watch it above).
“I hope you got your shittin’ pants on,” we hear villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) warning a captured Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), the trailer opens. Then, with a percussion soundtrack we see pensive shots of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), the rest of the Survivors and the Kingdom getting ready for a battle. That bigger world is ours by right,” Grimes tells his colleagues in a call to arms. “We’ve already won!,” he screams as the crowd in Hall H erupted in cheers. Cheers that got louder when a shot of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) on his motorcycle was shown. The trailer ended with a shot of an aged Grimes, harking to the Robert Kirkman comics on which the series is based.
“I think I counted six explosions in the trailer alone,” joked EP Kirkman of what he called an “action-packed” Season 8.
Lincoln, Morgan and Reedus were all on the SDCC 2017 panel along with Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Seth Gilliam, Alanna Masterson, Khary Payton and Chandler Riggs. They were joined by EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert, Kirkman and Gimple.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) July 21, 2017
In what was a relatively low key panel for TWD, EPs Nicotero and Kirkman also praised the recently deceased George Romero, who helmed such zombie game changers as Night Of the Living Dead.