[Spoiler Warning: some information revealed at the panel may spoil parts of The Walking Dead season 2]
One of the hottest shows on television is gearing up for season two with a panel at C2E2. The Walking Dead panel only included cast members Jon Bernthal and Laurie Holden, but provided plenty of details and confirmation of the latest season two headlines.
We know Edgar Wright has been asked to direct an episode and any character is subject to a zombie sandwich in season two, but the fans were hungry for more news. Even though television stars tend to be the last source of breaking news for hit shows, Bernthal and Holden were more than gracious with their panel.
Watch the panel below or continue on to read our analysis:
Some of the biggest stories were revealed near the end, but take precedent over the discussion-based panel segment.
Another rumor has been added to the mill, but this time by Laurie Holden. She mentioned that Stephen King may write an episode of the series in season two – a huge addition if true – and Frank Darabont will write, but not direct the premiere. Also, Bernthal confirmed that season two begins shooting on June 1st, which makes sense considering the Fall season premiere date. There was no mention of Edgar Wright, but Holden did receive a huge applause from the audience when she mentioned Charlie Sheen’s interest in the show. The pair also confirmed that season two will have thirteen episodes – up from six in season one.
The rest of the hour-long panel was filled with recollections of season one and hopes for season two. It is clear how much passion these two stars have for the project and their charismatic personalities made for an entertaining panel.
Both kicked off the panel with a recap of where their characters left off at the end of season one. Bernthal couldn’t actually remember, so shifted into praise for Darabont’s influences on the character.
Bernthal: “Shane screwed up pretty big at the end of the season. We’re gonna see a guy who is really, really lonely. It’s a different kind of loneliness. He’s with the people he loves and he can’t be with them the way he wants to. You will see the worst of him and the best of him in season two.”
Holden: “The only reason Andrea left the CDC is because she didn’t want Dale’s blood on her hands. She has lost everything and has no love in her life and there will be a lot of resentment towards Dale in season two. Andrea will get stronger and find her feet. In the graphic novel she emerges as a warrior, so I’m excited for that. She may be a bit of a lone wolf in season two, just trying to find her feet.”
Bernthal: “In this season, you’re going to see that these people are a lot more dangerous to each other than the zombies are.”
Bernthal went on to discuss the love/hate relationship fans have for his character, Shane Walsh. He mentioned his grandmother called him to scold him for making love to a married woman in the woods.
Both Holden and Bernthal share excitement for the graphic novel and the characters within. The two are enamored with Frank Darabont’s vision and the graphic novel’s source material. They rarely praise themselves. Instead, their thanks center around the minds behind the show. While they deserve all the thanks in the world, these actors brought characters to life in an environment and story that needed every ounce of their ability.
Holden: “Everyone was like, oh the writers are being replaced, oh no. It’s not going to mean anything, It’s all Frank. He is one of those rare artists that cares about humanity and passion.”
Bernthal: “Frank’s a bad ass. Period. When I read this pilot, it was just way better than anything else that was out there. [Bernthal went on to accidentally describe him with a number of sexual innuendos, so he gave up and finished with] Frank’s the best!”
Holden and Bernthal then got into the details of season two. While they have not received a script, and typically do not until just prior to the shooting dates (similar to Lost), they have been in plenty of discussions and hold a pretty accurate barometer for the upcoming events.
Holden: “I know we are going to get to Hershel’s farm in season two. But I can’t wait to get to the prison. Tyreese (Keith Allen Hayes is rumored in the role) and Michonne and The Governor – we’ve got some very bad ass people we are going to meet, but I don’t think we will get to the prison in season two because there is a lot to do, but we haven’t read the script so we don’t know.”
Holden’s familiarity with the graphic novel showed when she went into detail about potential plot developments. All three characters would add tremendous depth to an already fantastic cast, but will it be at the cost of one of the main characters?
Bernthal was playing it cool on stage, but constantly referred to his character’s death early on in the comic books. It seemed as though he was preparing himself mentally for a season two death – but, again, had not read that script yet.
An audience member asked each actor what comic book character they’d like to play and Bernthal mentioned Preacher. He wants to “dig into that.” It was recently confirmed that D.J. Caruso will direct the film adaptation. He seems to like bigger names for his lead characters, but Bernthal expressed serious interest, so expect him to go after the role – especially if his acting slate is free following a potential season two death in The Walking Dead.
Another fan asked what Dr. Jenner whispered to Rick Grimes. Holden claims she knows and Bernthal was jokingly furious that he doesn’t know. The two followed up with a little banter since Bernthal clearly did not read the script; though, Holden explained that two versions were shot – one with audible dialogue and one without. Later, Bernthal mentioned he thinks maybe Dr. Jenner told Grimes that he has cameras everywhere and his wife has been doing some “gnarly stuff.”
The C2E2 panel for The Walking Dead provided plenty of nuggets of information and a pile of praise for Darabont’s creative ability – which isn’t surprising – since there’s already plenty of anticipation for the 13-episode season.