The New York Comic-Con panel for The Walking Dead at Madison Square Garden was full of excitement on Saturday night as much of the show’s cast and crew took the stage to discuss the upcoming highly anticipated seventh season.
Along with moderator Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), those on stage included main cast members Norman Reedus (Daryl), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Melissa McBride (Carol), Lennie James (Morgan), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Austin Nichols (Spencer), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Seth Gilliam (Gabriel), series showrunner Scott M. Gimple, and producers Robert Kirkman, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert, and Gale Anne Hurd.
Starting the questions off, Hardwick asked, “We do actually find out who Lucille lands on in the premiere, right?” to which Gimple replied, “We do indeed.”
Gimple then went on to discuss what he’s looking forward to most about the season (besides Negan). “The performances this year are astounding,” he said. “Be on the lookout for really great performances and some very creepy, strange walkers. We also have amazing new faces: Khary Payton who plays a character named Ezekiel.”
Andrew Lincoln (Rick) couldn’t make it to the panel, so he sent along a message that he had Reedus read aloud. The letter turned out to be a joke “apology” from Norman to Andrew. It turned out that most of the cast had copies of the letter as well, so Reedus had to read the entire thing, which ended in him having to take off a piece of clothing if someone in the crowd could answer a question about an earlier season. He took off his hat and threw it into the crowd.
Moving on to the obvious main antagonist of the upcoming season, multiple members of the cast had something to say about Negan. “He’s a sign of the new world,” stated Alpert. “They’ve run into someone who is bigger and strong.” Gurira added that “He has structure. He’s also extremely smart.” And finally, Morgan, the villain himself, spoke about how “There’s nothing like it. It’s already nuts and we haven’t even started yet. I think in order to approach a character like Negan, you have to believe in what you’re doing, and essentially what he’s doing is what these guys have been doing for six years. But he’s also a bit of a show and can get cocky; though so can Rick and his guys.” Morgan finished by noting that he thinks “a lot of people follow him out of fear, but that he’s kept them alive all this time.”
Hardwick asked Gilliam why Rick now thinks it’s ok to trust Gabriel. “I’m not sure what he sees in Gabriel aside from his willingness, basically his surrender to Rick’s will,” he said. “He’s tried the suicide by walker, the suicide by Sasha. He’s a happy follower now. Rick must see potential for him to be more of use.” However, Nicotero came to Gabriel’s aide, reminding everyone how “in episode nine of last season, when the group is walking through the herd of zombies in Alexandria, Gabriel holds Judith. To Rick, this is a moment where he sees that Gabriel is willing to sacrifice his own life for others.”
James was then asked how he’s going to go forward after killing a Savior to save Carol. “I think the path he’s walking is the path he wants to walk,” he said. “If you notice when he shoots the savior, I think one bullet would have done it, but he empties the clip. Those begging for Morgan to become the killer again, be careful what you wish for.”
Next, Hardwick simply mentioned Melissa McBride’s name and the crowd went wild, so much so that it brought her to tears. “Carol is such a beautiful character,” Hardwick said. “Such a strong character. She adapts. She knows how to work every single situation. What has been your favorite part about her?” McBride responded by saying, “Everything you just said. I just love this character. What is it about this world that makes us want to survive so much? That’s a cool question. I love that question.”
The last part of the event was a clip from the season seven premiere which you can check out here.
[Images by Sarah Pfeffer for Geeks Of Doom.]
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