Zombiepedia was represented by yours truly at 2013's New York Comic Con. There were several great zombie events that I'll be chronicling in the near future. Because tonight is the season premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead, I'm sorta forced to put last things first, and start with big news from the huge star studded Walking Dead panel with practically everyone from the show.
Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley from community) was the host, and did a great job. Overall, this was one of the lightest and most fun panels I've ever seen - you can tell the cast has a bunch of inside jokes, and has alot of fun on set. The panel included Robert Kirkman (creator/writer), Scott Gimple (exec producer/writer), Gale Anne Hurd (Producer), Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Chad Coleman (Tyrese), Danai Guiria (Michonne), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Steven Yeun (Glenn), and tons and tons of Norman Reedus (Daryl). Seriously, from the fan support, you'd think the show was named The Walking Daryl. Melissa McBride (Carol) was out with a bad cold, and Chandler Riggs (Carl) was out with a... school.
Let's get some big NON-SPOILER (there will be no spoilers in any of the Comic-con related posts in the next few days - I have none to give, but there were some big hints) Season 4 news out of the way right now. Kirkman, Gimple, and Lincoln are practically giddy about the introduction of a new story element that will define season four.
Robert Kirkman was quoted in an earlier article as saying “Possibly the most deadly threat that they’ve faced thus far. They’re still going to be dealing with the zombies, they’re still very much a threat. They’re still going to be dealing with humans, that’s still very much a threat. But there’s a new element thrown in, this new unseen force that is going to be extremely dangerous and possibly more dangerous than anything.”
Andrew Lincoln adds: “There are ways that I find more horrifying when I read certain scripts this season that have nothing to do with conflict or zombies and they’re incredibly frightening and horrifying, and as much as the pressure builds, there’s a new pressure. They’ve been very smart in adding that texture, that flavor, the horror back in the show.”
Scott Gimple remarks “It’s a force that you can’t just stab in the face, you can’t talk reason to.”
This new unseen force will be apparent by the end of tonight's episode. Plague? Famine? Bees? Kardashians? Speculation welcome in comments.
Moving along, here were interesting tidbits from the Walking Dead panel.
- An excerpt from later this season was shown. Michonne, Daryl, one of the as of yet unnamed teens from Woodbury and Sasha are out scavenging for supplies. The kid psychoanalyzes Daryl humorously, and they have some witty banter while Sasha is peeking her head inside the store. Eventually, they kill a walker. One of the other Woodbury imports stays outside as they all head inside. He notices a severed leg near the entrance as he guards the entrance. The camera pans upward to show a large helicopter wreck on the roof of the supermarket, and 30-40 walkers shuffling about.
- Later, a second excerpt. No comment was made about the timeframe, in regards to the previous excerpt. Daryl, Michonne (and two others I didn't get a great look at... sorry) are in a older sedan (Not unlike Merle's in his last episode). They are driving away from a few walkers on a highway road, only to see there is a mega-swarm in front of them. Hundreds of extras (or maybe CGI) was used. They drive to reverse, but swarm overwhelms the car. The sedan runs over so many bodies, the tires lose contact with the road, and the wheels spinout on (and shred) walker bodies like it was stuck in 4 feet of snow. On Daryl's orders they abandon the car and start to fight through it.
- The governor is confirmed to have a major role this season. Carol's role will continue to grow.
- As in the books, Tyrese is also going to be a major character. I'm thinking Shane-like camera time and power, eventually.
- It is heavily insinuated that major characters will be killed off. If you think that's a spoiler, you're either just getting into this show, or you've taken too many blows to the head.
- This is the first season that Robert Kirkman was moved to tears on set as a result of the storyline. I'm scared.
- Andrew Lincoln recalled being nauseated and light-headed from the scene where Hershal's leg was chopped off. Greg Nicotero added that even those they filmed the scene several times, nothing could beat his initial, sickened reaction, and that's the shot they used. In other news, Lincoln is a wuss (Kidding!!).
- Apparently, there are internet rumors that in a tense prison scene last season, Andrew and Danai shared an intimate, and romantically suggestive stare. They both laughed, and say the internet misinterpreted the scene, but Danai added that she is all for Michonne in a romantic storyline. "I'm all for Michonne getting some", Danai laughed. She also mentioned later that playing the strong, silent type is not her style and was more difficult an acting task than her current amount of dialogue.
- Season 4 will include a mullet. Yvette Nicole Brown loves mullets. I must admit... I didn't see that coming.
- The fence surrounding the prison will be a huge plot device.
- One of the first questions from the audience was an adorable young girl (12-14 maybe) named Josephina with a Daryl question. She got stagefright, and could barely speak. Everyone in the entire convention said "awww" at the same time (Even people who weren't watching, which was really odd). All of the actors on the stage came down to her, and cajoled her on stage. She sat on Norman's leg for the reminder of the panel. That's not a joke, she really did.
- Episode 9 was implied in a tongue-in-cheek sorta way to be a big one by Andrew. He later outright says that an episode 10 development literally made him speechless and pace around his house for 10 minutes after reading the script. After reading the script. That bears repeating.
- Last and certainly not least, Abraham Ford (a fan favorite from the books, as I understand it) will be introduced this season. He will be played by Michael Cudlitz from Southland, who played a practical joke as he was being announced. He was the final question, and asked a question that insulted Andrew's (I think) toughness, and he ranted like a WWE wrestler trying to pick a fight. He angrily dropped at least 6 F-bombs, and up to this point, we were profanity free. Then he was introduced as a part of the cast he came on stage to cheers and laughter.
Overall, a very cool, very wild panel. Check in on my blog over the next few days as I chronicle
- Meeting Max Brooks, and inviting him or his people to visit/work on/work with Zombiepedia.
- Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's Walking Dead panel. Comic-centric, but there were TV notes as well.
- Planning advice for when your large convention has anything Zombie related.
Lastly, if you like live riffing (commenting, joking, trolling) with hilarious and insightful fans as you watch it, I highly recommend signing at fark.com, and checking out their weekly real time Walking Dead thread. It's on http://www.fark.com/entertainment. Free, easy and fun. Like me.