Comic-Con 2011: THE WALKING DEAD Panel Recap; New Trailer and Season 2 Premiere Date

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After their wildly successful first season, the cast and crew of The Walking Dead shambled into Ballroom 20 at Comic Con to thank the fans for their support and share some info about the upcoming season. First to arrive was the creative team of series creator/writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont, executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series) and makeup artist and consulting producer, Greg Nicotero. Next came the principal cast, including Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun and Jeffrey DeMunn. Hit the jump to see what cast and crew have in store for fans in season 2, plus a new trailer.

The panel opened up with an explanation of how The Walking Dead was picked up by AMC. Gale Anne Hurd explained that it was a logical extension of the network’s “Fear Fest” lineup of horror movies around Halloween and they had been looking for a series in the same genre. Each of the producers gave props to AMC for having the courage and the foresight to pick up a series about surviving a zombie apocalypse. They then, in turn, praised Nictoero’s amazing visual effects for being the foundation of the realism and shock factor the series has enjoyed thus far. The creative team all expressed the desire to answer the increased pressure on the success of season 2 with even more progressive and boundary-pushing story telling. When asked where the next season would pick up, Darabont answered:

“Season two picks up with five seconds of overlap with the end of the first season. They’re driving away in the truck and the CDC blows up. None of this ‘six months later’ crap.”

A trailer for season 2 provided a nice transition between the crew and cast sections of the panel.

Next, the cast took the stage to answer some questions from the moderator and eventually the fans themselves.  While the cast admitted to not knowing the entirety of the plot for season two, each of them expressed obvious and genuine enthusiasm over the scripts they’ve read so far. What was equally obvious was the appreciation they have for the support of their fan base. Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh) said:

Walking Dead fans are the best fans in the world. You’re the smartest, the most badass and you’re hungry…and we want to feed you! So thank you!”

Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) also thanked the fans for being there and caring about the show. His enthusiasm for his role was very apparent, as he remarked:

“It’s so fun! Dude, I get to run around with a crossbow and shoot zombies in the brain. It’s awesome!”

One member of the cast, Steven Yeun (Glenn) had a less than awesome experience concerning a parasite he picked up while filming in the woodlands of Georgia, which led to the running gag of “tick check” being shouted out during the panel. Laurie Holden (Andrea) took a moment to reflect on how emotionally devastating her character’s arc was in only the six episodes of the first season, but is looking forward to developing her character further:

“Every character has their own challenges. If you are a fan of The Walking Dead graphic novel, you’re going to love this season!”

The new premiere date for the 13 episode run of season 2 has been moved up to Sunday October 16th at a new time, 9pm, so set your DVRs!

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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