AMC’S hit scripted series “The Walking Dead,” returned with a vengeance to this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, CA. In addition to sharing a riveting new trailer, the season nine premiere date, October7, was announced as well as the following casting news:
Brett Butler as Tammy Rose – A salt-of-the-earth resident at Hilltop.
John Finn as Earl – Hilltop’s blacksmith and Tammy Rose’s devoted husband.
Rhys Coiro as Jed – A rebellious Savior who refuses to fall in line.
Dan Fogler as Luke – A fatigued survivor who understands there is safety in numbers. He values what is beautiful and hopeful and makes us uniquely human.
Zach McGowen as Justin – a hostile Savior not interested in working together with the other communities.
Angel Theory as Kelly – Connie’s ever-alert and ever-protective sister.
Samantha Morton as Alpha
We also had a chance to catch up with the cast during an incredibly emotional press conference during which we touched on actor Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the series, some of the cast’s most memorable/emotional scenes and whether or not there will be an all out war between Rick and Maggie during the upcoming season, and just whose side will Daryl be on?
When asked about whether or not a character can leave this world without being killed off, Lincoln tell us, “Lennie James is a good example of leaving without dying. And I just saw him about 5 minutes ago and he looks incredible. (laughs) And then there’s obviously the other way. Which we’ve done quite a lot. Obviously I’m not going to tell you which way. I prefer the Lennie James of it all. But I think what we have in store is truly remarkable and I’m very proud of what we’ve done.”
Lincoln also went on to say that his “relationship with Rick Grimes is far from over!” Could this mean that we will see some more of Rick Grimes in future episodes? Only time will tell, but we are predicting that if we do see any more of our beloved Mr. Grimes it will most likely be in the flash-back sense, much of what we predict the series will do with the upcoming rumored return of Shane, played by actor Jon Bernthal.
When commenting on the newly released trailer (which can be seen below) showrunners Greg Nicotero and Scott Gimple reveal, ““We really want to come out of the gate this year showing you guys that the show has really been reinvented. We get to see Washington D.C. and there’s a great shot of Rick on horseback running through bashing the head of walker. So with the new characters you saw in the trailer and with that little tease at the end, for me personally I think it’s one of the most exciting time’s it’s been on the show in a long time. Because we have this new threat that is really well introduced in the comic book and is really exciting. I love that that’s where the show’s headed.”
They go on to say, “There was a particular scene that Andy and Norman shot together. They rehearsed it over and over again. They spent so much time. We want to see where these relationships are going. This season, we’ve really gotten then opportunity to explore that. It feels like the level of collaborating and dedication-him and Norman would be working on a scene we didn’t shoot for a week. After 9 years, we still want it to be great for you.”
Andrew Lincoln got very emotional again when speaking about his upcoming departure from the series and commented, “I would love to have not told anybody this was happening and for you guys to experience it. The news had broke a few months ago and then Robert mentioned in interviews. So we thought we wouldn’t go to you guys first, we’d go to the fans. It’s just what it is.”
He continued saying he wanted to “end the story arc, but not depart the mothership”. Danai Gurira also spoke about the emotional departure of actor Chandler Riggs from the series revealing that the letter her character read from Carl was actually at letter that she had personally penned herself, however she would not divulge the contents as they were “very personal”.
Actress Lauren Cohen also spoke about some exciting changes coming up for the series and says that she is thrilled that “the narrative is being freed up and it feels like the show I always felt we head toward after wrapping the pilot”.
Actor Norman Reedus also shared some insight about his character’s relationship with Carol praising Melissa McBride as an actress and saying “One of the episodes this year has a really sweet heartfelt moment between them and it’s one of my favorite scenes we’ve shot.“
The cast and crew also discussed the battle between Rick and Maggie saying that there is “a lot of disagreement within the group about the way the situation was handled” Gurira says, “There is so much tension because of Rick sparing Negan. It’s about people who love each other and want to be on the same page but aren’t”.
Jeffery Dean Morgan revealed just what we will see from Negan in the coming season saying “We will definitely see a different side of Negan at the beginning of Season 9. I believe there’s room for redemption, but not sure if there will be.” Morgan also went on to say that he very much hopes to see a Negan back-story sometime in the future, but we are unsure of just when that will be revealed.
“The Walking Dead” panelists included cast members Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, along with Executive Producer and Showrunner Angela Kang, Executive Producers Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Executive Producer, Director and Special Effects Make-up Supervisor Greg Nicotero. The panel was moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown.
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