SAN DIEGO – Welcome to the Comic Con 2015 panel for “The Walking Dead.” Andrew Lincoln is here. Norman Reedus is here. Danai Gurira is here. Lots of producers are here. Oh, and 6,000 fans in Hall H who are probably here more for “Star Wars” at the end of the day, but also likely watch (arguably) the most popular show on television. And, of course, your moderator is “Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick. Let's get started!
12:05: Hardwick comes out to announce the season six premiere will have 654 extra walker extras. That's the most since the series premiere. The new Premieres Sunday, Oct. 11 at 9 PM. This will be a 90 min premiere.
The first full trailer for the upcoming season has everything you want. Tons of walkers (many getting their heads taken out by Michonne) and lots of drama. The upcoming season looks like it will be a big game of “Who do you trust?” Morgan vs. Rick. Carol vs…everyone? Quite intriguing. Oh, and a “Swamp Thing”-esque walker.
12:14 – The entire cast comes out wearing Robert Kirkman T-shirts and have cut outs of his head on a stick. The creator of the series is sick and was unable to attend. Producer Scott Gimble announces there will be a public (?) premiere at Madison Square Garden.
12:17 PM – Fan question: Will it be another season of Rick battling or control again?
Gimble: “I will say that this is a savvy audience that knows we sometimes play with the truth in trailers. It's just to maintain the experience. Rick is absolutely is faced with challenges to the way he does things and also including these people in the way he does things.”
Gimble: Rick has to realize that people are looking at him a bit differently.
12:19 PM – Fan question: More flashbacks this year?
Gimble answers not as much as previous seasons (for the moment).
Fan question: Does Andrew miss the beard?
“My wife doesn't miss the beard, but that was one of the most weird shooting days of my life. I had to get in the shower naked in front of the crew.” He wonders if anyone could see more than two inches of his butt crack. Says it was “unbearable” to shave on camera (it appears he doesn't like looking at himself shaving).
12:23 PM – Dana Gurira lets her “bosses” know she'd love to see even more interaction between Carol and Michonne.
Gurira says, “I adore Carol. I think it's an interesting thing between these two women.” “She understands what Carol is for the best for the group and is def for protection…but it's not the way Michonne wants to [work].”
12:27 PM – Gurira and Lincoln have a fun exchange regarding the moment last season when Michonne punched Rick.
“You did hit me,” Lincoln says.
Gurira, “That was the best take!”
Lincoln continues, “She jumped on me afterward and just cuddled.”
“I thought I actually knocked him out,” Gurira says.
12:29 PM – Gimble wants to clarify that there actually are flashbacks this upcoming season. “In fact I'm working entirely on an episode that's a flashback. I just forget things in front of 7,000 people.” Hardwick isn't sure whether he's telling the truth or playing with everyone.
12:33 – Fan question: What was Morgan (Lennie James) doing before he found Rick?
Lennie James: “Getting to know himself? I think we may find out this season what Morgan's been doing with himself. At the end of last season he finds him and realizes he possibly shouldn't have.” “Morgan and Rick have a particular kind of man love that goes on. I think the fact that Morgan has gone to find Rick, Rick is the last person on the planet who knows Morgan is gone. The only person Morgan knows who is left is Rick. I think Rick knows the effect that Morgan has had on him.”
12:35 – Chandler Riggs on how Michonne would react to him going outside the walls of Alexandria to meet Enid. “I don't know how they would react if they knew Carl was running around the woods with Enid.”
12:40 PM – Sonequa Martin-Green is asked about how difficult it is to play Sasha. “She's hit rock bottom. It's been an honor for me to play PTSD in honor of those who have suffered from it. You hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. You hope you can cross over to the other side and live again and thrive. That's what I'm hoping that she finds. That she responds to the death of her most loved ones. She would get back to that healed place she'll see that I didn't respond correctly. I have not been the woman that my brother really knew and loved.” “Now, it's time to actually pay homage to their lives and their memories and live with hope like they wanted me to and did.”
12:41 PM – Fan question: How does Carol conceal what she's done from the Alexandrians?
Melissa McBride: “I think just not having her cover blown. She had really important work finding out what these people are capable of. I really think just keeping her cover.”
Fan Question: We didn't get to see Carol react to Tyrese's death. What did it mean to her? Does she miss him?
McBride: “Yes, she misses him and it just fuels the fire even more to fight harder to keep everybody safe including herself. Everything is fueled by the loss of people. She can't stand around and watch people die. She's ready to pay the price, go to hell, to do whatever she can to help people.” “She's not a cold blooded killer, she just wants to keep going to come face to face with somebody else she can take down.”
12:45 PM – Michael Cudlitz says Abraham's greatest moment in the series hasn't happened yet. He adds, “I just want to live in a world where Carol bakes cookies for everyone.” Gimble and Nicotero reflect on how Cudlitz has the best lines on the show.
12:48 PM – Fan wants to know what Reedus does to prepare to play Norman: “Lot of Motorhead. Lot of coffee. Play Candy Crush a lot. I'm so into it's into it. I spend hundreds of dollars, I don't even give a shit.” Reedus says the red balloon is his favorite emoji. “Are those really my fucking questions right now?” Big laughs from the audience. Also, Reedus is really into Candy Crush.
12:50 PM – Stephen Yeung reads a note from Lauren Cohen who can't be here because she's with her family. Cohen wants everyone to know the fans are her “other” family and why she goes through the “ups and downs” of the walkers.
12:55 PM – Blooper reel time! Some good stuff including planes flying overhead during a shot (Yeung improvs “Help! Help!”), walkers knocking doors that should be closed open, actors getting stuck in bushes, Lincoln breaking a drywall by accident and much more (they should put it online).
12:56: Fan wants to know if any more stars of “The Wire” will be joining the cast. Turns out they tried this past season, but it didn't work out (will not say who exactly).
Audience member wonders whether Lincoln wants Rick and Michonne to become romantically involved. Turns out he isn't the only one. Lincoln, “My mom is desperate for Rick and Michonne to get together. 'If you have any political pull you have to get those two people together!' I'm not campaigning Scott.” Gimble retorts he's gotten his mom's calls.
1:02 PM – Fan asks very vague and long question which is basically, “How do you relieve the awkwardness of doing an intense scene?” The cast is still confused (there was originally a kissing reference). Hardwick spends 2 min trying to explain. Gimble notes, “These guys live a horror movie every week and some of them (have been doing it) for six years” There's got to be some psychological repercussions (someone call SAG!).
1:04 PM – Fan dressed as Daryl gets a selfie with Norman Reedus. It then sounds as if he Norman if he is “enormous.” Reedus, “I knew I liked you.”
Reedus randomly blurts out, “My mind is starting to freak out because there are so many Daryl's walking around” (in the audience).
1:07 PM – Niccoterio shows some still images of walkers from the upcoming season. They look much more decomposed in the past. One of the walkers in the trailer looked intentionally “Swamp Thing” inspired.
Gale Anne Hurd wants all the international fans to know you'll get the season premiere within 24 hours of its US debut.
That's it everybody!
“The Walking Dead” returns Oct. 11 on AMC.