Fans of Kirkmans book…get ready to be VERY happy.
Before we got to seeing some footage, we were first introduced to the creative team to the show.
Director/Writer Frank Darabont, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Make up efx master Greg Nicotero, and head of AMC SVP of original programing Joel Stillerman.
A quick roundup on some of the information we got:
-Gale (having a hand in a few comic-to-movie properties) got involved after hearing the popularity of the series and then reading the book.
-Darabont, a huge horror fan, discovered the series at his local comic shop. Upon reading it he realized that the story that series was telling was the apporach he wanted to do for a zombie movie, a genre he’s been trying to figure out.
-Stillerman loved the idea of the series, BUT he loved the talent that was already involved (i.e. when your script says it’s written by Frank Darabont and when you find out that the producer is Gale Anne Hurd, you might want to make that show happen.)
-They also annouced that the score of the show would be done by Bear McCreary, the composer for Battlestar Galactica.
Soon, they finally showed the reel.
The first scene we get is the first scene from the comics. Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes and his partner Shane have a blockade in the middle of the road, as a run away car comes straight towards them.
The police blow out the tires and soon the car is tumbling over to the side of the road.
A shoot out with the crimals erupts, ending with Rick getting shot and knocking out.
Suddenly, Rick wakes up alone in a hospital (yeah, yeah, we know, we know “Just like 28 Days Later…”)
We soon see the nightmare that Rick as woken up from.
The reel shows scenes with Morgan(played by Lennie James) a survior that finds Rick, a few quick scenes with Lori, Carl(!), and Amy in the survivor camp, Rick walking around dead bodies stacked on top of each other, Rick riding a horse in the middle of Atlanta…oh, and ZOMBIES. Tons, and TONS of zombies.
Great stuff, and the look as this classic cinematic feel to it.
After the footage was shown, some of the cast came to the panel and joined the stage…
Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick Grimes), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes), Jon Bernthal (Shane), Laurie Holden (Andrea), and Emma Bell (Amy). Micheal Rooker was hanging in the audience as he will be playing Merle Dixon (a new character made for the show I believe).
Heres a quick breakdown on the Q and A:
-Andrew Lincoln( whos brittish) got wind of the project after his agent gave him the sides. He went to his local comic shop in England and found out that the comic is the stores biggest seller.
-Lincoln auditioned his scenes with Jon Bernthal(who had his dog with him) in Frank Darabonts garage! Lincoln credits Bernthal dog for getting him the part.
-Sarah Wayne Callies blames Greg Nicotero for ruining her life! She points out that up until recently she had no scenes with the zombies yet. After finally sharing screen time with the undead, she’s had nightmares since. Funny moment during the panel was that a few Zombies (or Roamers) were walking near the stage, Callies was freaking just a little.
-Frank hopes that some legendary horror directors (::coughGeorgeRamerocough:::) could work on the show in it’s second season.
-Fan favorites Micchone won’t show up in the show till the second season. (Though Darabont is DYING to bring that character to life)
-The show is shot on Super 16mm, giving it that classic grainy look.
-The chacter of Tyrese will show up in second season too. Darabont , while auditioning actors for Morgan apparently saw plenty of guys he would be great for the part (Kirkman jokes that the show would have 3 Tyrese’s)
-The show will follow the series pretty closely, but “vering off the path” to introduce new ideas, Darabont says they will make sure that they will go back to the path that Kirkman left.
-The DVD could have the option (at least for the pilot episode) to watch in black and white!
A great panel for sure.
The Walking Dead comes out in October on AMC.