The cast and crew of AMC's zombie thriller The Walking Dead took Comic-Con 2012 by storm, culminating in an impressive panel in Hall H. The 7,000 seat venue was packed Friday afternoon as fans from around the world flocked to hear what the plans were for Season 3.
"We open on a scene of I can't tell you, and then transition into a scene of you'll just have to wait and see," teased series creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman.
Moderated by Chris Hardwick, the panel included Kirkman, Executive Producers Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, and Greg Nicotero, as well as most of the cast. Fans were treated to a conversation with the crew, as well as a sneak peek look at Season 3, which will premiere Sunday October 14, 2012.
While critics online have been vocal about the pace of the show, the panel was adamant that the show is only just beginning its journey into zombie goodness. "I feel like the pace really started to pick up at the end of season 2," said Alpert
Talking about the look and feel of the zombies, Executive producer and special effects guru Greg Nicotero added, "We're always changing the contact lenses and the dentures. We really want to sell the fact that they're dead and decomposing." He later added "We're going to do some animatronic puppets this season [season 3], which is something we didn't get the chance to do last season."
During a trailer featuring clips from the upcoming third season, two new main characters were introduced: Michonne (Danai Gurira) and The Governor of Woodbury (David Morrisey). When asked about bringing the character of Michonne to life, Gurira said, "She's so insanely sharp and her instincts are so spot on. I hoped I could become as smart and sharp as her. I have a bit of lioness in me, but she's all lioness, so it's all about accessing that lioness part of me."
David Morrisey talked about his character, The Governor, adding, "I don't think we know who we are until we're challenged, and this is a very challenging world."
Star Andrew Lincoln who plays Rick Grimes chimed in about the upcoming season, "The Shooting schedule is crazy as always, but that's why we love it. Everyone is busting their guts to bring you the best season so far."
When Hardwick asked Lincoln about the so-called 'Ricktatorship', Lincoln implied that things might be different in season 3. "This season is very much about him learning that he needs other people to survive."
Norman Reedus, the likable redneck Daryl Dixon, had nothing but glowing things to say about being on the show, and his character. "We love each other and our jobs. Everybody loves a redneck. He's a guy who's under the thumb of his big brother Merle. Being away from Merle, he's finding himself being needed and appreciated. I think it means a lot ot him. He's kind of growing up."
A lot of attention was focused on Sarah Callies, the actress who plays Lori Grimes, a character on the show who is known for her questionable moral choices. Callies promptly shut the door on anyone who thinks her character is a horrible person: "I think Lori did everything she could to manage Shane. She didn't tell him [Rick] to kill Shane, she told him to watch his back. And then Shane tried to Kill Rick. The right man ended up winning that fight."
The panel then moved on to the Q&A portion of the program. Here are the best questions and answers from the cast and crew of The Walking Dead.
Question: Andrew [Lincoln], if you could play another character, who would it be?
Answer: "I'm having a bromance at the moment with Norman. [Pause for applause] Carl is a great character. He's such a gifted actor, and the things he's doing this season is going to blow your mind. He makes choices that are way beyond his years. His journey this season is something I'm watching very carefully."
Q: How did you develop your convincing accents?
A: "We work with a really wonderful dialect coach. We have skype sessions every sunday. It's sort of like chruch. Andy does his accent from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves," said Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie Greene.
Lincoln added, "It's just the rhythms. I'm like a sponge; I just absorb inflections."
Chris Hardwick added, "Just go sit in a Cracker Barrel for four hours. You'll pick it up real quick."
Q: You get away with a lot on TV. How did you get away with Andrea grabbing Shane?
A: Laurie Holden who plays Andrea responded, "You should have seen what we did that got cut!"
Q: Glenn, do you think you'd do well in a zombie apocalypse?
A: "I can be pretty resourceful, but also sort of lazy. If there are a lot of ladies around, I"ll stay. If it's just the bros, maybe I'll just lay down and let someone bite me," mused Steven Yeun who plays Glenn.
Season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead premiers October 14, 2012.