My last panel of the weekend turned out to be the last one for New York Comic Con 2010 as well due to a delayed start. Of course, it was the much celebrated Walking Dead unveil in support of the upcoming Halloween release of the new AMC series.
To say this was a show stopper panel would be an understatement. The panel started late in part due to the crowd itself which amassed shuffling to the hall slowly in much the same way as the show it was celebrating. This irony was lost on no one and a frequent topic of discussion as we all waited, inched forward and eventually filtered into the hall.
Here’s a look at the crowd gathered in anticipation and this was just the portion I could fit into my camera’s view. Imagine twice this many people back and to the left side and you have the audience waiting to get in for this one.
The panel itself started late, as mentioned above, and this fact limited how much I could see before I had to run to the airport. That said, I did get to enjoy an extended trailer and two clips from episode two of the series before shuffling out.
One scene involved the tank we’ve all seen from the preview trailer and, to the cheers of the crowd, the story of how Rick escapes and the big unveil of the character Glenn. The scene culminates in Rick’s first meeting with the initial group of survivors and it’s not a comfortable “hello”. The cliffhanger ending of this scene left me wanting more.
A second scene focused on the interactions of Rick and more of the group at a camp site. Not as high energy, but showed the more calm emotional side of The Walking Dead. This preview gave fans their first look at Donna and Allen.
Initially, the panel itself was made up of Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and Frank Darabont. They discussed the feel and making of the series. It is clear, The Walking Dead is very cinematic in scope and often has more of a film than television feel to it. Story-wise, Kirkman and Darabont are willing to deviate and return to the source material as needed to tell a story they want to tell on television. This may lead to unexpected suprises along the way and, by the time they talked it out, I was in agreement that this is actually a good thing. It certainly had Kirkman excited. He also commented that so many of the character we’re seeing here are dead in the series, that it was really nice to go back and revisit them in the writing and work on this story. Kirkman even got to direct one episode for this season.
During the discussion, there was talk of the desire to not to have sprinter zombies that are popular in some movies of the genera. The three discussed each of their favoriate zombie films. Kirkman’s, incidentally, was Day of the Dead.
The series is being shot on film in Super 16 so it looks amazing and gives them flexibility to do a lot with the finished product. In the end, they all really wanted to honor Night Of The Living Dead as the foundation concept and realized that make-up was very important to telling this story and put much effort into it (which showed in the the previews).
As for content, they said right up front that there is “no holding back” and every time they’ve tried to push what was allowable, the network has told them how good it looked rather than limiting them in any way. So far, there is nothing they wouldn’t have done for an “R” rated version that hasn’t been included so there is an excitement for the potential of the series.
Just as the full cast took the stage for a Q&A (all the main stars), I had to run to the airport, but at least I got to see that much. Just wanted to share.
Watch the series. This is going to be a masterpiece if I’m any judge.