Good news, “Walking Dead” fans. The wait for season three ends Oct. 14.
The big news coming out of Friday afternoon’s Hall H panel presentation for AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” was the return date for the zombie show, but the series’ creators and cast also screened a trailer for the upcoming third season that seemed long on action and prominently featured new locations and two anticipated characters, Michone (Danai Gurira) and the Governor (David Morrissey).
Both Gurira and Morrissey were on hand at the panel with a long list of castmates that included Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun.
The footage began with scenes of Michone decapitating zombies and included shots of her traveling with Andrea, the pair witnessing a helicopter crash and being captured by the Governor and taken to his town of Woodbury. Meanwhile, Rick and the other survivors are seen taking down walkers in order to secure the prison, which becomes disputed territory once the Governor learns of its existence. The teaser ends with the appearance of Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker).
Speaking on the panel, show runner Glen Mazzara, who took over after Frank Darabont left the series with some controversy last year, promised that the upcoming season would have “raw and visceral” moments and that the creators really wanted to develop the new characters.
Almost no specifics were divulged about the arc fans could expect from the upcoming season, naturally, and the tight-lipped nature of the cast and crew even became a point of discussion, with Yeun quipping, “We can’t say anything.”
But Lincoln did mention that he’d been having a bit of a bromance with fan favorite Reedus and that he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” to locate Rick’s mindset at this point in the show’s timeline.
“I saved reading that until now,” said Lincoln in his natural English accent rather than Rick’s subtle Southern drawl. “Rick has isolated himself from the group. It’s an interesting place to start.” (He also gave a quick shout out to his favorite Atlanta coffee shop, noting that “my character is built on caffeine and tension.”)
Gurira seemed excited to have the opportunity to bring Michone to life, praising the character’s spot-on instincts and her inner lioness. “Sometimes I wish I was more like her,” Gurira said.
Seated at the far end of the panel, Morrissey spoke rarely, but his few comments were concise and delivered with authority (let’s hope he wasn’t sticking too close to his character). “I think we don’t know who we are until we are challenged, and this is a challenging world.”
Indeed. For fans who were looking to experience a little bit of that challenging world for themselves, there’s always “The Walking Dead: Escape” here in San Diego, where anyone can pay to be chased by zombies through an obstacle course. Only at Comic-Con.
– Gina McIntyre
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