NYCC’s most exciting television presentation this year was undoubtedly AMC’s The Walking Dead. Saturday night featured a panel including The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd, co-executive producer and “special effects ninja” Greg Nicotero, and cast members Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Stephen Yeun, Normand Reedus, Chandler Riggs and Lauren Cohan, who joins the cast in Season 2 as Maggie Greene.
The actors and crew all expressed an incredible appreciation for the show and the opportunity they have gotten to work on it. At one point or another, everyone on stage deemed himself unbelievably fortunate and surrounded by a group of magnificent talents. But beyond this expression of general love for one another and their circumstances, the representatives for The Walking Dead also shared some interesting tidbits about the season to come. For those of you interested in avoiding spoilers, we suggest you stop here.
We last left Andrea (Holden) a “sad sack who was suicidal all the time,” which Holden describes as “exhausting.” We will see a change in Season 2 which will give her a new drive to become a strong, “feisty” survivalist. We will even see Andrea get a few zombie kills under her belt.
Young Carl Grimes will also come into his own this year. The amazingly sincere young Chandler Riggs was pleased to express his opportunity to “play two different characters in the same series.” Whereas Season 1’s Carl was always “scared in the background,” Season 2 will see the character “evolve to a new level” and “put himself in harm’s way.” According to Riggs, this will include “lying and stealing.”
Finally, we learned a little something about fan favorite Glenn (Yeun), and where he’ll be headed this coming season. Yeun said about his character, “After the zombie apocalypse, he wants to be a hero, but he does it recklessly.” Yeun teased how this might change over the course of Season 2: “He might meet some people along the way, strike up a conversation…” (alluding to a romantic entanglement Glenn might enter with new character Maggie). Yeun charmed the audience with his sweet conclusion: “Finding something to love is a reason to live.”
Of course, the highlight of the panel was the clip from Season 2. It goes without saying that unimpressive scenes in The Walking Dead are few and far between, but this was one of the rawest, most adrenaline-spiking scenes with which the show has yet to experiment. We find our heroes on a highway packed with deserted cars—Rick is the first to take notice of a swarm of walkers slowly approaching the campers. T Dogg finds himself in a bloody situation, while Andrea must fend for herself against a zombie attacker for the first time.