SDCC 2011: THE WALKING DEAD Panel
I have seen the trailer for the second season of The Walking Dead, and you are sofa king jealous. Seriously. It looks amazeballs. It starts with a closeup of Shane running running running for his life, then pulls to an overhead shot of him being followed by a zombie horde, tripping, getting up, and taking them all on with a sawed-off shotgun. Then a title card, and then a lot of clips that show mistrust and division amongst our little band of survivors. Then they're on a road choked with abandoned cars, Dale scanning the area with his binoculars, Rick preparing to shoot. A zombie comes into the sights of his rifle and is quickly joined by at least 15 others. Quickly everyone is running and hiding under cars, and the music and the tension rise as there are quick cuts to a dozen different scenes, showing the survivors in all sorts of peril.
The panel started with Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, and Greg Nicotero talking about the production aspect of things. When asked about how a zombie show ended up on the upscale niche channel AMC, Hurd said that AMC is interested in excellent programming, and The Walking Dead definitely fits. It also fits in with the channel's Fright Fest programming in October. Nicotero revealed that their is actually a zombie training camp in Atlanta for the hordes of extras. We found out that Hurd took a bullet to the head as a zombie on the CDC lawn in the first season finale. And Kirkman said the huge response to the show and the rabid fanbase has empowered them to go bigger and do better this season.
The biggest problem critics had with the show's first season was the inconsistency of the writing. The show was also plagued by well-publicized problems in the writer's room. In fact, as soon as the first season ended, Darabont fired the entire writing staff, and there were rumors that he was planning to write every episode himself. He didn't address the problems directly, but said that the writers are a lot better this year because they were fans of the show and understand what kind of show it is. He said last year no one knew what the hell they were doing. Say it with me, "Oh snap!"
With the writing issues sorted, the new season looks like it's going to be fantastic. It starts about 5 seconds before last season ended and just goes straight through their escape from the CDC. "None of this bullshit 6 months later stuff." Every character is going to be pushed to dark places, and according to Sarah Wayne Callies the theme this season is that the most dangerous things are the monsters within. I can't wait! The new season premieres on Sunday, October 16.