Welcome back to Hall H, where we're minutes away from getting started on the panel for The Walking Dead.
So far today we've already had panels for The World's End
, Veronica Mars
and Kick-Ass 2
, and after this, we still have Game of Thrones
and Amazing Spider-Man 2
Chris Hardwick is back out to moderate this panel. He wastes no time in introducing exec producers Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Greg Nicotero.
Gimple: "It's going to get insane very quickly [next season]."
What are they doing to keep it fresh? Nicotero: "We fine tune things with the effects at the end of every season. The writers are writing even more original gags into the storyline. 24 hours ago we shot one of the coolest Walker gags ever."
Hurd: "The first day of principal photography, everyone got together, 150 cast and crew in a big huddle and shouted 'go team'. We want to bring the best season ever for the fans. That's our goal."
Alpert: "The most dangerous thing that could happen on this show is you start getting comfortable. We saw the evolution of single walkers into herds, then they had to deal with the Governor. Now they think they have it under control but they won't."
Gimple: "The world was telling the governor that what he was doing was fine, right until episode 3.16, where he got some negative reinforcement. And that will affect the character."
We've just watched an extended sizzle reel for season four, which will no doubt wind up online shortly.
Now time to bring out the cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Scott Wilson, and Chad Coleman.
The US premiere date is October 13, by the way.
Why go back to the prison? Lincoln: "A good question, but we answer it in this season."
Is Carl beyond saving now? Lincoln: "It's integral to the beginning of this season. Him turning into a sociopath definitely woke him up for his parenting duties. You find Rick in a completely new place. He's trying to suppress his brutality and he's renounced his leadership for the sake of his children."
Can Michonne still have emotions after what happened? Gurira: "She's every woman, babe. Women have a lot of capacity for a lot of things."
Yeun: "Glenn's constantly evolving. You learn a lot of life lessons, he went through an awful one with the person he loved. All he sees is vengeance and how can I take care of this myself."
Cohan: "I think that Maggie wanted to move on a little faster. She knew that it was better to live in that moment and not spoil what they had. Interestingly all that from the governor have propelled a whole new journey for her this year. It was a good springboard for her. Stronger cat."
How might Hershel's role change? Wilson: "I think he really just wants to hang on to his other leg. I think the whole group is so interconnected and dependent on each other. It's really wonderful to see how everyone does react to each other, and he has a part of that."
how did it feel coming into the group? Coleman: "As an actor, this is an amazing group of folks. Any actor would want to be in that home. It's a high level. You want to be part of something the fans appreciate the way these guys do. As far as Tyreese, on a certain level he is still trying to figure out how he fits in. What are the rules of engagement in this dilapidated world they live in?"
"I don't get the sense that he's gratuitous violence, he needs a strong reasoning behind why he does what he does but this world won't let him operate that way."
Boos for Morrissey. Has he finally broken? "I think at the end of last season he was at a very bad place. He feels like they betrayed him and that's not going to go down well with the governor. He went off with two of them, he didn't kill them all, so you've got to give him a break."
Where can he go after that point? "I think even in 3.16, the immediate aftermath, it was a very spontaneous action. It's like he went into trauma, something switched. His desire was to take the prison, it didn't work and he sees his soldiers go away. He has to do something and a switch goes off in his head."
Reedus on Daryl's growth in the group: "When I read the script with Merle dying I thought man this day's going to suck. He was sort of doomed to become mini-Merle. Without Merle around, he finds a sense of self-worth. The relationships he has with these people are the glue that keeps him there. He's definitely grown up a ton. All the characters have. Nobody's the same they were in the first season."
Lincoln: "I think the death of Andrea combined with what happened with Carl was the catalyst to that point. Pushing people away wasn't working for him. When we meet them all in season four, there is a whole new community in the prison, and incredible friction and tension between certain characters."
Any shred of hope? Gurira: "The hope is in the beauty of Beth singing, that baby girl, in Carl, in so many components of how a community is melding and moving forward despite what is happening in the world around them."
Audience Q&As now. Since Andrea is dead in the show but they're still together in the book, is it possible that Michonne and Rick can get together? Kirkman: "Anything is possible."
How did Lincoln prepare for Lori's death scene? "We get to work with amazing actors, and then they get bitten and shoot them, but I think this is the first time I've done a show that's done three years. You don't only grieve the character but you're never gonna have those scenes with those characters again. It was such an extraordinary script and moment."
Is Rick back? "By circumstance these humans are thrown together and have this unity. That's the heart of the show. He's been pulled out of this terrible place by these human beings."
How does the cast feel about an actor leaving the show? Gurira: "I was close to Laurie Holden. She indoctrinated me into this show. It was beautiful to learn this world through her. It's not the easiest experience [for her to leave]. This show's structure is that people come and go, you understand that artistically, but it is always very hard."
Did Yeun do much training for the chair scene? "Jon Bernthal said you gotta come to my gym. 'You gotta box, bro.' I got into it and it just kind of followed suit that way."
How difficult is it to show each character's human side? Gimple: "It's the basis of their story - who they are, what they want in this world, that's where you start. The hard part is where you go from there."
I have to echo the sentiment from the angry woman next to me from earlier, there really are some frustrating questions from the audience in this panel.
If the zombie apocalypse actually happened, what would they do? Lincoln: "I'd be useless. But Chandler Riggs on the other hand, he's grown up. This boy is a beast now. His voice is about an octave lower when you last saw him. So I'd stand behind Chandlery Riggs."
Button lady - a regular at the panels today - is up to ask a question. Could Morrissey be convinced to sing on the show? "There is an internet phenomenon which is the bad lip sync, but I can't really see a crossover between Blackpool and The Walking Dead. I don't think the governor's going to burst into song any time soon. And definitely not dance."
With that this panel comes to a close. Join me again shortly for coverage of the Game of Thrones panel!