Recently writer/creator Robert Kirkman discussed a few topics that his hit comic-to-TV series The Walking Dead, would be covering in the upcoming second season.
Now the rest of the cast and filmmakers are chiming in as well - giving fans a glimmer of insight into where season 2 of The Walking Dead will start as well as a few story beats the writing team intends to explore.
With less than 24 hours before ravenous fans of AMC's zombie series can sink their teeth into The Walking Dead DVD and Blu-Ray home releases, we've got fresh details on where fan-favorite headliner Rick will be leading the survivors in the upcoming season.
The new details come from Friday's PaleyFest 2011 Walking Dead panel that included appearances by Kirkman as well as producer Gale Anne Hurd, writer/director Frank Darabont, and cast-mates Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal, Emma Bell, Steven Yeun, and Laurie Holden.
For a taste of the event check out the video below, courtesy of THR:
The panel-portion of the AMC event lasted over an hour and while there was the usual conversations about why the cast and producers were drawn to Kirkman's source material as well as how the filmmakers attempted to differentiate The Walking Dead from the cliches of the "undead" genre, the panelists also gave a few important hints at how the second season will play out.
The attendance of Emma Bell, who played Amy in season 1, is a testament to the fact that, when it comes to who will live and who will die, even key survivor characters aren't safe. However, Kirkman did hint that Rick Grimes would enjoy a temporary stay-of-execution:
"We're kind of pinning a show on him. I don't think we'll get rid of him anytime soon… at least not season two."
Much like the comic series, Kirkman says fans should expect cast members to die in upcoming episodes - but it's safe to say that the filmmakers will also bring in some fresh meat for the proverbial drama (and zombie) grinder:
"We have to keep it interesting. The comic book has an evolving cast and it's always people dying and others added. The TV show will follow that as well."
Interesting is definitely an applicable term considering Sarah Wayne Callies' tongue-in-cheek, but still very real, question: "What are the consequences when there's no Theraflu?"
That said, don't expect new characters to join the survivors in the opening credits of season 2. As many fans of the series (not the comic book) will remember, the last episode of The Walking Dead ended with the group evacuating the CDC. Unlike many season premiers that fast-forward to several months after a finale (such as fellow AMC show Mad Men), according to Darabont, season 2 will pick up right after the CDC scene:
"I still want them to be in the reactive phase of this incredibly intense thing that just occurred. What do we do now? I think that's where we are going to start."
If you love The Walking Dead but weren't satisfied by the character drama in a show like Lost - because you were frustrated by the lack of answers to primary mythos questions - brace for bad news. Kirkman does not expect the television series to ever answer what started the zombie outbreak:
"I've made a vow never to reveal it in the graphic novels. In the comic book series I have vowed never to explain and the fanbase seems to have accepted that. I think people should get on board with that. I don't know if we'll ever tell people how the zombies came about. I don't think it's important to the story which is about characters. When you delve into where they come from it delves into science fiction. It's not realistic for these characters to find out how this global problem came about. These are everyday people dealing with these problems."
While there's no official confirmation at this time, Kirkman has, in previous interviews hinted at a possible trip to Hershel's farm, drama in the Rick, Lori, Shane love triangle, and the addition of fan-favorites Machonne as well as The Governor. Not to mention a recent appeal for a Charlie Sheen cameo.
With the writers back in the writing room this week, expect more details soon.
The Walking Dead Season 2 will premiere on AMC in October.