The Walking Dead did things a little differently this year for its annual New York Comic Con panel at Madison Square Garden. Instead of a Saturday evening panel and screening of the Season 10 premiere, the cast and producers assembled on Saturday morning for a look at the Walking Dead universe, including the flagship series and the upcoming spin-off.
Stars Danai Gurira, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cailey Fleming, Josh McDermitt, Seth Gilliam, and Ross Marquand, and executive producers Angela Kang, Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, and David Alpert were on hand to preview the season. Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick moderated. The Walking Dead Season 10 panel covered a lot of ground, but the big news is that Lauren Cohan will be returning as Maggie Rhee after sitting out much of Season 9, and that the show has snagged an early Season 11 renewal.
The panel opened with a screening of the first scene of the Season 10 premiere, which features some classic Michonne-going-HAM-on-some-walkers-with-her-katana action. Then the cast and crew came out.
Showrunner Angela Kang thanked the fans for getting the show to 10 seasons and said she can't wait for fans to see what the actors are doing this year. She said she watches the footage in editing and says "holy s---, this is amazing."
Norman Reedus previewed a new hand-to-hand fighting style for Daryl this season, that's more like "ballet" than the brawling he's done before. He said Daryl is a different person than he used to be. He's not as hot-headed anymore, and he carries the ghosts of the people he's lost with him and thinks "What Would Rick Grimes Do?" or "What Would Hershel Do?" before reacting. "He's taking care of people more than just taking care of himself now," Reedus said. He also added, for the Caryl shippers, that things are "complicated" between himself and Carol (Melissa McBride) this season.
Josh McDermitt said that he doesn't have any children of his own, so working with baby Coco is a new experience. "I show up to daycares and ask if I can hold babies," he joked, and sometimes the baby actors' parents let him take the babies home for research. He said that the radio Eugene set up last season is helping him deal with his loneliness.
Robert Kirkman said that Samantha Morton's take on Alpha is better than the version he created."I have to admit, it's completely different than what I imagined in the comic," he said of Morton's take on the Whisperer leader. She's "way more scary than I ever could have thought." Kirkman also said that now that the comic is over, he can admit that Negan is his favorite character.
Then it was time for Danai Gurira to say goodbye. She got a standing ovation from her co-stars and producers. She said she tried to take a katana from the set, but it didn't work out, so Morgan and Kirkman vowed to get her one. Gurira has finished shooting, and she said the first few days after she wrapped were a tough transition. But Michonne will always be with her. "She's in me, she's in my bone marrow," she said. She also said she's going to miss Michonne's costumes.
"The beauty of my journey has been all about this amazing fandom," she said. She told a story from right when she moved to Atlanta to work on the show. No one had ever seen her as Michonne yet, and she was standing outside of a building talking to Laurie Holden, and someone drove by and shouted, "We love you, Danai!" She was already part of The Walking Dead family. "It's the fans that have given me everything...I love you guys and will always love you guys," she said.
And then Angela Kang announced that The Walking Dead has been renewed for Season 11.
A fan asked if Scott Gimple had any news on the Rick Grimes movies. "We are working on them," he said. He said he and Kirkman are talking to Andrew Lincoln a lot. "We are hoping to have some news for you in the next month or two."
As the panel was wrapping up, a fan came up to the stage wearing a Jason mask. She took off the mask to reveal she was Lauren Cohan, and announced Maggie Rhee is officially returning to The Walking Dead. "I was more nervous for these past 15 minutes than I've ever been in my entire life," she said. She wouldn't say anything about what Maggie would be doing, but she's back as a series regular in Season 11.
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC.