If the cast, producers and our own eyes are to be believed, season two of The Walking Dead is going to incredible television.
At the hit zombie series' Comic-Con panel today, we witnessed the extraordinary, terrifying and powerful trailer for the next season—and learned some important news: It premieres Sunday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m. (a new time) on AMC.
And that's not all…
Nearly the entire (living) cast joined legendary zombie artist Greg Nicotero, producers Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic-book series on which The Walking Dead is based. (Get our interview with the zombie genius here.)
The lively (sorry) panel, moderated by geeking-out fanboy Chris Hardwick, shared all manner of fascinating facts about the zombie apocalypse series, from its inception to filming season two…and beyond.
We Can and We Will: Robert Kirkman believed his comic books were much "too dark" to adapt to television. "It's zombies eating and tearing people apart!" he exclaimed. But Frank Darabont was a believer and relentless in his goal of reanimating the zombies on the tube, finally convincing AMC to air six episodes. After record-breaking ratings for the premiere, the network didn't need much convincing to renew the series for a second full (13-episode) season. Kirkman loves reenacting his own stories for TV. "Killing characters again?" he said. "Oh, I love it!"
Fan Club: The panelists were generous with their praise for TWD fans, which has a dedicated cult following. Said star Jon Bernthal (Shane), "The Walking Dead fans are the smartest, most badass...You guys are hungry for it and we want to feed you." Laurie Holden (Andrea) has good news: If you're a fan of The Walking Dead graphic novel I think you're really going to love this season. Our very own G4 star Chris Hardwick shared one his own fanboy moments, when he scared away a group of girls at a party with his enthusiasm: "You don't understand," he shrieked to them about TWD. "If there were really a zombie apocalypse that's exactly what it would be like!"
Suicide Is Painless: When asked what he himself would do in a real zombie apocalypse, creator Kirkman said simply, "I would kill myself." Instead of becoming a "zombie's pet," he said, "I would jump off a bridge." To which EP Hurd retorted, "You need to shoot yourself in the head! "Read the comic book," she chided its writer. "Learn the rules!"
All in a Day's Work: Of all the stunts he does, star Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) said his favorite is "driving." What? "I only learned to drive four years ago," admitted the blue-eyed British babe. Costar Norman Reedus loves playing "badass" Daryl Dixon because, he says, "I run around with a crossbow and shoot zombies in the brain—it's awesome." Steven Yeun, who plays, Glenn, has a different take on his typical Walking Dead day: "You wake up, do a tick check. You go to work, you sweat your butt off, you come home…and do another tick check." Apparently insects are a bigger problem than zombies in real-life Atlanta summers.
Scared Straight: "Now we can really scare you," Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes) told fans about having a full second season. (We believe her, and you will too after viewing the new trailer.) "These are the best scripts I've ever read," she added. Andrew Lincoln said he was also feeling the fright today, for another reason: "This is my second Comic-Con," he told Hardwick, "but it's still just as scary."