The Walking Dead made its 11th San Diego Comic-Con appearance yesterday with a ton of surprises for fans. Moderated by Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), the panel was split into two portions with many cast members dropping in to discuss the show and their characters.
First up, the announcement that the season 10 finale will air as a standalone episode later this year on Sunday, October 4th and it will be followed by the world premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond – a new show in the TWD canon.
Next, fans were able to watch the first few minutes of the season 10 finale. Following the teaser, Hardwick was joined by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang, executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the episode, and cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Josh McDermitt, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton, and Paola Lazaro.
Hardwick kicked the Q&A off by asking Angela Kang what fans should expect from Beta. He is now the Alpha-Beta hybrid; however, in true Walking Dead fashion, not much information is given. Greg Nicotero spoke about directing the finale and the season, and he felt the trajectory of the season gave fans an excellent ride and something new and different every episode.
Daryl and Carol
Norman Reedus talks about Daryl’s arc in season 10, where he was facing trust issues, especially with Carol, and he felt he was putting many members of the group in danger. With Michonne (Danai Gurira) leaving, he promised he would take care of Rick’s children and how this would be mentally exhausting for his character.
Melissa McBride joins in on the fun and is asked to discuss Carol’s point of view at the beginning of season one to where we are now in season 10. Melissa said it’s the “same water. A different boat.,” but at the point of the latest season finale, she is trying to make amends. When asked how her and Daryl’s relationship would be in season 11, she responded with a long-running “meh,” which drew quite the laughs from the rest of the members of the panel.
After many seasons, Melissa also got to work with Jeffery Dean Morgan for the first time on the show. When asked how she enjoyed working with him, she said it was very exciting because of the anticipation for the two to share the screen.
A Favorite Returns
The second half of the panel kicked off with the return of Lauren Cohan, who spoke about her return to the show. She jokingly said that “Maggie loves doing Comic-Con in her slippers.” She feels like she never really left the show. She’s interested in also directing future episodes of the series.
When discussing the Negan-Maggie dynamic for season 11, Angela spoke about their past, which involved Negan killing her husband and burning their house down, which will be a shock to Maggie as she left him in a cell before leaving. Jeffrey Dean Morgan talks about Negan’s arc and how he feels it’s been a fantastic journey for the character and how the intrigue will be at an all-time high when Maggie and Negan interact.
As the panel came to a close, Angela spoke about the diversity of the show and how inclusion is a core value to the series. There is no one ideal person – race, skin tone, ethnicity, etc. that defines who a survivor is. Anyone can be a survivor. She asserted that the show will remain diverse.
Angela then had a bigger surprise for fans – six more episodes of Season 10 will air in 2021 following the official season finale in October 2020. Because production hasn’t started yet on season 11, they thought this would be the best way to give enough time to the writers, cast, and crew to prepare and film while the world goes through the pandemic.
As someone who is not a big fan of The Walking Dead, it was a treat to see this passionate cast speak about it in such a positive light. While I may not fully dive back into the series, I will be tuned in on October 4th to see where The Walking Dead series goes.
AMC's The Walking Dead | Comic-Con@Home 2020