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SDCC 2011: The Walking Dead Panel LIVE

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SDCC 2011: The Walking Dead Panel LIVE

The Torchwood panel just came to a close, but few leave Ballroom 20 as The Walking Dead is on deck. The whole gang is expected to attend including Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden and more. Keep an eye on this article for the latest and be sure to keep updating your browser as I’ll be posting new information as it comes in.

Ballroom20BeforeTheWalkingDead

It’s 11:23 and here we go! The moderator, Chris Hardwick of G4, welcomes executive producer Frank Darabont, executive produce Gale Anne Hurd and writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman to the stage. Also on the panel is consulting producer Gregory Nicotero.

11:25 – Hurd has a big announcement. She says on Sunday, October 16th at 9:00pm, season two of The Walking Dead will premiere!

11:27 – Kirkman originally thought this could never be a TV show because it’s so dark. “The idea of a show is that people get eaten and torn apart. That’s not something you see on television everyday.” Darabont said he immediately thought it was a TV show.

11:33 – Hardwick asks how it’s been having more resources for season two. Kirkman admits there’s some added pressure. He assures it made everyone work harder. “It’s empowered us to try harder,” knowing that the fans are out there. “We’re taking that seriously and we’r really trying t deliver.” Darabont points out that this time, they have a room full of writers that know the show. whereas the first six episodes, nobody really knew what they were doing.

11:35 – Darabont teasers a new trailer and the crowd goes wild. And the trailer beings!

11:40 – The piece began with footage of Shane running then blowing away some zombies. From there we get voiceover from Rick Grimes during which we relive some of the events from season one. That’s when it shifts to the focus of season two – the group’s effort to find a new home. We’ve got relationship drama and loyalty crumbled. Here’s some of the text from the trailer – “The end of civilization was just the beginning. This October, the strain of survival takes its toll.”

11:42 – Here comes Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun.

11:45 – Callies says when they shoot, they don’t know what happens further down the line, but it’s great.

11:46 – Bernthal talks about when he first got involved. He said it started with a script that blew him away, “the best pilot I’ve ever read in my life.” He also adds some fan praise, calling the group “smart” and “badass.”

11:48 – Holden talks about recharging after a long day of work. She says the first season was challenging because of the death of Emma Bell’s character, her sister, Amy. Everyone has their own individual challenges in season two and everyone is pushed to the max.

11:50 – DeMunn talks about how he approaches his character calling him “terribly nearsighted.” Before delving deeper, he says this (SDCC) is amazing and he’s never had an experience like this. He recalls having the most wonderful introduction to the show. He got a call from Darabont and he said, “Jeff, how would you like to come to Atlanta and kill zombies?”

11:51 – Hardwick points out how Glenn is the youngest of the bunch and Yeun starts talking about how he just moved to LA prior to pilot season and “the stars aligned.” He says he was a fan of the comic before, but didn’t even realize until he was a few pages in that he was reading the TV version of the comic. Yeun says a day of shooting consists of waking up, doing a tick check, going to work, taking it all in, sweating your butt off and then you come home and do another tick check. Glenn recalls a tick once climbed his “mountain.” He jokes that he has super powers now.

11:54 – Kirkman admits that if there were a zombie apocalypse, he’d kill himself. Hurd chimes in, “Read a comic book. Learn the rules, Robert!”

11:59 – Darabont says season two picks up five seconds after the first season. Literally, them diving away from the CDC, “No six months later bullshit.”

12:00 – The audience Q&A begins. Kirkman says it’s a good thing he’s not the final call in casting because he’d just cast people he loves like Ed O’Neil. “My second go-to is John Stamos.” Hardwick enjoys the thought of an Uncle Jesse zombie.

12:01 – A fan asks who does their own stunts. Lincoln remembers at the start, he was told he can do what he feels comfortable with. He says he did most of the stunt work. Darabont says his favorite moment of directing the pilot is when Lincoln is riding the horse, galloping full speed across the field. Bernthal says “We do as much as we can ourself. It’s incredibly game group of actors and an incredibly game crew.” He adds, “We go for it as much as we possible can.” Holden says getting your bruises and cuts is like “earning your day.”

12:03 – Now a question for Norman. He compares The Walking Dead to a Lady Gaga video. He calls Walking Dead “the best and the weirds.” He adds, “I love Gaga though.” (Reedus was in her video for “Judas.”)

12:07 – What’s Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) fate in season two? Callies calls him a “little man” and “a professional.” She says they shot a scene the other day that will take our breath away.

12:10 – Someone asks Robert about Rick’s development in season two. Kirkman notes the comic series has been going for so long, he’s had the chance to do some horrible things to Grimes which made him the character he’s become. “The plan is to get there,” but he can’t rush the process. It needs to build like it did in the comic.

12:12 – Does the blood taste bad? Nicotero says no, but the stuff they use to blacken the zombie’s gums with does and he feels bad for the extras. He adds it takes about an hour and a half to apply the makeup. “We filter the zombies to set as we go.” He notes that all of the zombies are troopers and great performers.

12:15 – Last question is for DeMunn, how does he translate his theater work into killing zombies. DeMunn is stumped, but says the to disciplines feed each other. He says having done theater, it really tunes up the memory so he doesn’t have a hard time learning lines.

12:16 – Before moving on, Hardwick calls for an applause of the panelists. The crowd responds. Now time for the season two trailer of The Walking Dead again!

By Perri Nemiroff

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Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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