In attendance were stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden, Jon Bernthal and Emma Bell.
- Callies plays Grimes’ wife, who goes missing.
- Bernthal plays Grimes’ best friend, Shane. There’s a MILD SPOILER that something scandalous develops between Shane and Grimes’ wife.
- Holden plays Andrea – a lawyer from Florida who’s on a road trip with her young sister Amy (Bell). Bell describes Amy as a normal college girl who happens to get caught up in a zombie apocalypse.
- Hurd announces that Michael Rooker will be joining the cast (Rooker is in the audience and was also seen in the footage screened.
- Lincoln didn’t read the comic before getting the lead role of Grimes. When he did, a friend dragged him to the comic store in his England neighborhood and made him read it. Lincoln loved it. He jokes that the recent birth of his son had him looking like a real-life zombie, and that’s why he got the part.
- Callies confesses that she’s never read a comic book nor seen a horror movie – “I’m a card-carrying chicken.” She says Greg Nicotero’s makeup work has “Ruined my life,” by giving her zombie nightmares.
- Lincoln and Bernthal describe the unique relationship between their two characters. Bernthal praises Lincoln as being “an amazing actor,” and says his ability and performance will carry the sow along. Lincoln responds by saying he only got the job because of the chemistry he shared with Bernthal (and Bernthal’s dog) – especially during their audition, which was held in Frank Darabont’s garage.
[MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!!]
- While fans dressed as zombies prowl the audience, a makeup artist complains that The Walking Dead was filmed in GA, and not LA. Darabont responds by saying that if Cali can ever “Get its @#$% together we would,” the tax breaks in GA are much better.
- The next fan question comes from an angry self-confessed “Zombie fan and mommy.” She was upset at Kirkman over a young boy named Carl in the comic – she wants to know how Darabont will handle that story using real young children as actors. Darabont jokes that Carl will be animatronic in the show – Nicotero adds that AMC is letting them seriously push the envelope. The gore will be there in the show.
- Hurd goes so far as to add that the preview footage shown was “For a family convention,” – the actual show will be much more violent and gory than what we saw (and that’s saying something).
- Characters we didn’t see – Glenn, Dale, Michelle(sp?), and Tyrese – will definitely be introduced to the show at different points down the line. Bell calls actor Jeff DeMunn (who plays Dale) “Gandalf of ‘The Walking Dead.’“
- Hurd says they realized that grainy, analog, Super 16 film was best for the show. She says they’re floating the idea of doing a recut of the pilot in the black and white coloring of the graphic novels…for the DVD release, of course (we’ll keep you posted on that front).
- Bear McCreary talks about composing for the show and trying to avoid classic horror cliches with jump-scare music and sound effects – he’s read your Internet ideas and he’s not going that way. He says we’ll dig the ideas he’s come up with.
- The last question was a SPOILER about Rick and Shane’s eventual confrontation – way to spoil it for us all, lady…
- Callies praises Chandler Rigs – the kid who plays her and Rick’s son Cole in the show.
The panel ended with a second look at the montage of the previewed footage. Good Stuff.
The Walking Dead premieres this October, worldwide, on AMC.