You can expect more “beautiful”-looking zombies, some new characters, and a whole lot of death in the second season of The Walking Dead.
With the premiere of AMC’s hit show premiering tonight, the spotlight was on the show’s cast and crew at this year’s New York Comic-Con panel.
The show’s panel on Saturday included Walking Dead creator and extraordinary comic book scribe Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, co-executive producer and special effects guru Greg Nicotero and most of the show’s cast, including Jon Bernthal (Shane), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and newcomer Lauren Cohan (Maggie).
While The Walking Dead is a TV adaption from Kirkman’s Image Comics series, the storylines will continue to differ just as they did in the first season, according to Kirkman and Hurd.
“We’re doing a lot of Hershel’s farm stuff, which is from the second volume of the comic book series,” Kirkman said. “Anyone who’s followed the comic will know that Shane was dead by then… So just to be able to approach those stories in such a different way, and watch how each character reacts and changes the storylines… makes them richer and adds more depth.”
Hurd said that they brought in Kirkman to the writer’s room to help craft every episode, while Kirkman said the show is “all about getting to know the characters and then doing horrible things to them.” Nicotero talked about the zombie make-up effects he and his team do for the show, and promised there would be zombie stuff in this season we haven’t seen before. He also said that they brought back a lot of the same zombie performers from before.
Season 2, which premieres tonight at 9/8c on AMC, will first run for 7 episodes, with the last 6 of the season to begin airing in February.
An extended clip from tonight’s episode was also shown during the panel, which Nicotera said involved 150 zombie performers working each day on a 4-day shoot which required them to shut down an actual freeway in Atlanta. Although we weren’t permitted to film the clip, which included all new, never-before-seen footage, we can tell you what we saw…
The footage shown at the panel begins with trailer that was previously released in promotion of Season 2, but then moves on to show us what happens after that. The footage opens up with Rick Grimes talking about how it’s all about second chances now, as he looks through the scope of his rifle at a horde of walking dead coming right at him on a freeway filled with abandoned wrecked cars. “Oh Christ,” he says as he runs towards his group of human survivors to get them to hide from the zombies. As the humans shake with fear in their hiding places, we see the zombies walking by them.
Now onto the new stuff, which was never show before: In between seeing the survivors hiding under the cars as the zombies invade the area, we see Dale atop the RV trying to stay out of sight, but Andrea is in the RV and doesn’t know what’s happening. We see her putting a gun together as she glimpses the zombies and tries to hide from them. Outside, T-Dogg tries to crouch behind a car, but makes too much noise as he badly cuts his arm on a car door, causing blood to spurt out along the sidewalk. It seems like the zombies might smell the blood now. One inquisitive zombie decides to go into the RV, where Andrea is now hiding in the bathroom trying to get the gun assembled and loaded, but then she drops it, drawing attention to herself. She presses both feet up against the door to keep her undead attacker at bay. Just as it seems her luck is running out, Dale from atop the RV drops a big screwdriver down to her and as the zombie bursts through the door, she stabs him in the eye with it. Outside, the bleeding T-Dogg is about lose his battle against a zombie when out of nowhere, Daryl appears and dispatches the attacking flesh-eating, saving T-Dogg — an unpredictable move for Daryl, considering what happened between his brother and T-Dogg.
Additional reporting by Empress Eve; photos by Dave3.