War is coming to The Walking Dead, and it's time to choose your side. Are you Team Rick (Andrew Lincoln)? Or Team Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)? And if you're Team Negan... What's your deal, dude? Negan's a murderer.
Anyway, the annual Walking Dead San Diego Comic-Con panel is easily one of the most raucous, explosive hours of the year. Though the actors usually can't say much about the show, the fans of TWD are nuts — in the best way — and the cast feeds off that. This year, the massive ensemble trotted out enough cast-members to (almost) fill Comic-Con's six thousand plus person Hall H, including: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Chandler Riggs, Seth Gilliam, Alanna Masterson and Khary Payton; as well as behind the scenes folks Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero.
Here's everything we learned at the panel!
1. They weren't sure they wanted to do the panel. After stuntman John Bernecker passed away following an accident on set last week, the cast and crew of The Walking Dead wasn't sure they wanted to do the panel. But they felt they wanted to do it for the fans, and most of all for Bernecker — who loved what he did, and sharing it with people.
2. The first Season 8 trailer is all about the fun! After a season that seemed mired in sadness, after the deaths of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), the Season 8 trailer was all about the explosions, rising up against Negan and becoming a big action movie. It was funny, and hopeful.
3. ...And was that Old Rick??? Fans of the comics know that after the upcoming "All Out War" storyline, the story jumps forward a few years to show the aftermath. The last scene of the trailer seemed to tease this, with a shot of Rick's cane, and a bearded Lincoln (not the President) straight out of the books. So are we going to see the flash-forward? Is it a dream? Am I dreaming? What's going on???
4. Andrew Lincoln wasn't so sure filming his first scene. Recalling his first ever scene on the show, Lincoln and former star Jon Bernthal both wondered what they were doing on this show. But 100 episodes later? "This has been the most amazing experience of my life," Lincoln said.
5. Lauren Cohan wants Maggie's baby to pick up in Glenn's footsteps. Asked what Maggie will teach her child, Cohan said she hopes the baby gets all the best qualities from Glenn — as well as all the departed family members, from Hershel, to Beth and beyond. "Bravery, and comedy, and impulsive energy that he had..." Cohan said. "I hope that everybody of the family that is alive will pass that on ... To this new little girl, or guy."
6. Lennie James loved how Sasha died. Asked how they'd want to die on The Walking Dead, star Lennie James said he loved Sasha's (Sonequa Martin-Green) death in the Season 7 finale. "Go out big, go out loud, take someone with you," James said.
7. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has a surprising least favorite thing about Negan. Asked about his favorite and least favorite thing about Negan, Morgan said he loved how forward and brash he is, but doesn't like, "That he wears a leather jacket on 100 degree days," to huge laughs from the audience.
8. Andrew Lincoln cannot say "Carl." When asked how he works on perfecting saying his son's name on the show, Reedus quipped, "Perfect is a big word, though." And then Lincoln tried to say Carl, repeatedly. Even when he said it right — once — it just didn't sound right to his British ears.
9. The Walking Dead: European Vacation? Could The Walking Dead travel overseas? "I would say it is entirely possible it would happen," Gimple cagily answered. "I'd say it was something--"
"Get ready for The Walking Dead: Sweden!" Kirkman joked, interrupting, before letting Gimple finish that it is, in fact, "something we want to see."
Whether that would be spin-offs a la Fear the Walking Dead, or actual glimpses of parts of the world outside the American South... Stay tuned.
10. There will never be a cure. Kirkman was pretty definitive in terms of ever having someone immune to a zombie bite, or looking for a cure. "We try not to be definitive," Kirkman said, "But the answers are no, and no." Part of the appeal of the show is that the show is about "people and their struggles to survive," adding that to have a search for a cure would lead to a boring show.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 22 at 9/8c.