Diehard zombie fans were out in force for the first night of PaleyFest 2013 thanks to the festival-opening The Walking Dead panel moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. Hardwick erred on the side of devoted fanboy rather than penetrating interviewer, giving the event more of a Comic-Con panel feel. Cast members Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Dania Gurira (Michonne), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Scott Wilson (Hershel), Emily Kinney (Beth), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and Steven Yeun (Glenn) were joined by series creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman and his co-executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert for a occasionally salty, consistently hilarious discussion that avoided any hint of controversy.
Absent was any mention of the show’s difficulty holding onto showrunners, or the vastly divergent tonal differences between seasons. In its place was a discussion largely centered on the way each actor feels about their characters. (One exception was Hurd’s clever reference to one of the least loved things about Season 2. Referring to the evolution of Carl, lead character Rick’s young son, she quipped that he isn’t ‘Where’s Carl?’ anymore.) But despite this relative lack of substance, the discussion yielded interesting insight into how each episode comes together, particularly the close relationship between the creative staff and the cast.
One topic that came up again and again was the series’ high body count, something all the cast on hand agreed was, in Andrew Lincoln’s words, the “one bad thing” about making the show. Over the series-run, more than a dozen supporting characters and now three starring characters have been killed off, with more surely to come, assuming the series follows the grim trajectory of the long-running comic. (To cope, the cast has created a ritual, attending a favourite Atlanta-area restaurant and holding a fake birthday party for the outgoing cast.) Kirkman agreed with the difficulty of killing off cast, comparing it negatively to his comic. “It’s horrible for me, because I’ve been writing the comic for almost 10 years now. When we decide to kill a character, it’s like ‘Eh! Not going to be writing or drawing that imaginary thing anymore!’ On the show there’s real people involved and the cast, they’re almost like close family.”
That closeness apparently plays a large role in how the series is produced. Kirkman explained that the actors are always brought into the writers’ room to discuss changes and events their characters will go through. “There’s a lot of things that come from those meetings that actually inform the stories that get told over the seasons,” he said. “I think that’s a really cool process. They live with the scripts almost longer than we do.”
The Walking Dead, currently the record holder for most-watched drama in basic cable history with 12.3 million viewers for the recent mid-season premiere, is currently finishing out its third season on AMC. It was renewed for a fourth season in December.
Only 4 weeks left… and counting…
Season 3, Episode 4 tonight… Can’t wait.
Check out this awesome print from Mark Englert, “This is My Farm… I’ll Die Here”. It had a partial release back in May 2012, before the full release in July 2012. There were regular editions and variant editions available… pretty sure they’re all gone now. Check out availability HERE
The cast and producers of The Walking Dead will participate in an hour-long panel at this year’s New York Comic Con. During the panel on Sat. Oct. 13, Andrew Lincoln and the cast of The Walking Dead along with showrunner and executive producer Glen Mazzara and executive producers Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd will discuss the highly anticipated Season 3 premiere. Moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, The Walking Dead panel will also include an exclusive clip from the premiere episode, which returns to AMC on Sun., Oct. 14 at 9/8c.
In addition, on Saturday the actual RV from The Walking Dead will be set up outside the convention, complete with walkers lingering around.
Comic Con details:
Sat. Oct. 13
2PM-3PM: Autograph Signing in Room 1E17
5PM-6PM Panel in the IGN Theatre (Room holds approx. 3,000)
The Walking Dead returns Sun., Oct. 14 at 9/8c on AMC (and is not available on DISH)… and here in Australia we get it 33 hours later on the FX Channel on Foxtel/Austar. can’t wait..!!!
The trailer for the third season of AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead, screened at San Diego Comic-Con 2012. The third season of The Walking Dead will premiere at 9 p.m. October 14 in the U.S. Watch to the end for the return of Merle Dixon. “Fight the dead. Fear the Living.”
Below is an on-set interview from FX Channel with the show’s creator and Executive Producer Robert Kirkman about Danai Gurira’s (Michonne) sword skills and the most impressive set he’s ever seen on the show (Yes, we’re talking about the prison.)
If you haven’t read the graphic novels, don’t read this interview as it contains information that may spoil your enjoyment of season 3… If you have read the graphic novels, you’ll enjoy learning that most of the cool story beats from this section of the ‘Ongoing story of survival’ have been retained. Enjoy.
Q: After two seasons, you must feel like an old pro on set. What aspects of production still surprise you?
A: One thing that’s surprising me is how much I’ve fallen in love with Georgia. The town Senoia where we’re filming is absolutely beautiful…The big change this season is we’ve got this amazing prison that we’re filming in. It’s absolutely stunning, and I never get used to being on set.
Q: What went into constructing the prison?
A: They’ve taken a lot of what you see in the comic book series and brought it to life in ways that I didn’t think possible. This is going to be one of the most impressive looking things that’s ever been put together for a show.
Q: The room in the prison with all the guns and the SWAT gear in the comic is really cool. Is that going to come up on the show?
A: We’re a big fan of the SWAT gear here at The Walking Dead writer’s room… maybe that’s an indication that we’ll be seeing that stuff in the show. It’s important to us to maintain the tone of the show. Thus far [the characters] have been out on the road, desperate and living in the heat, and we don’t want it to be that they’re relaxing in this safe place now.
Q: With the evil Governor in the picture, does that mean the humans are the bigger threat this season?
A: The plan was always to evolve naturally into a place where the zombies essentially become a manageable threat. You know the rules. You know how to deal with them. To a certain extent they become something to not really be scared of unless you mess up. Humans, however, do not follow any rules and will always do something that surprises you and are capable of doing things far worse than trying to eat you…We’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of horrible things.
Q: What can you tell us about David Morrissey’s portrayal of the Governor? Have you seen him in costume yet?
A: I’m actually waiting desperately to see him dressed up in Governor mode and walking the streets of Woodbury. I think he’s going to be absolutely great playing against Andrew Lincoln.
Q: Michonne was introduced in the Season 2 Finale. How are Danai Gurira’s sword skills shaping up?
A: There’s been quite a bit of sword training going on and [Danai] is doing an amazing job. She’s going to be do all of the hard character stuff and drama that The Walking Dead is known for, but she has tremendous physical capability and the sword training that I’ve seen is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see her hack up some zombies.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the sword she’s using?
A: She’s using a sword that we specially designed for the show…The origins of the sword will be revealed on the show.
Q: This season has got so many exciting story lines…
A: When you think about The Walking Dead comic series, you think about oh, the stuff they with did the Governor, the stuff they did with the prison and Woodbury and Michonne. And that’s really a lot of the stuff that people remember the story for and that’s stuff we haven’t even gotten to in the TV show yet. So as much as people love the show, and as high as the ratings are, and as cool as the show is, I feel like we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet. This season is absolutely going to blow people away.
Q: You’re developing another of your comics, Thief of Thieves, with AMC. What can you tell us about that project?
A: Thief of Thieves is a great heist story about a man named Conrad Paulson who leads a double life as a master thief known internationally as Redman…I am working with Chic Eglee, who is a fantastic writer who worked on the first season of The Walking Dead, and right now we are in the pilot development stage, so he’s going to be working hard on the pilot script and once that’s written we’ll go from there. But it’s really exciting to be working with AMC again.
Q: This season will be 16 episodes instead of 13. Are you looking forward to the longest production time yet?
A: The actors and the crew and a lot of the producers would not be thrilled to hear me saying this, but I love doing 16 episodes a year. I think the more the better, and I think it’s a lot of fun. We are going to get to tell bigger stories, and tell more stories, and get into the characters a lot more. So the more the merrier.