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[San Diego Comic-Con '12] Recap Of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Panel!

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Report by The Woman in Black: The San Diego Comic-con was nothing short on horror during Friday the 13th. In fact, AMC has three major “The Walking Dead” breaks including a season 3 premiere date (October 14), new trailer and the announcement that Universal Horror Nights will have a “Walking Dead” maze this fall.

But that’s not enough for those of us imersed in the Robert Kirman comic book adaptation. We were able to chat with all the major players – showrunner Glen Mazzara; executive producer Gale Anne Hurd; co-executive producer/special makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero; comics creator Robert Kirkman; returning stars Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, Stephen Yeun, Norman Reedus, and Laurie Holden; and newcomers Danai Gurira and David Morrissey.

Mazzara was asked what he’s most excited about in Season 3, and he answered, “The whole thing, promising they have a “great, tight story to tell.” Of course the return of Michael Rooker’s Merle was brought up and whether or not having him back might in any way diminish the intensity of Morrissey’s Governor, but Mazzara assured us there’s no comparison really between the two men. Reedus added, “Merle is a powerful, strong character, while Mazzara elaborated that all of the show’s characters are “well defined and strong.

While we had Reedus at our table, the new Merle/Daryl prequel video game from Activision was brought up, but he hasn’t started working on it yet and couldn’t shed any new light on the storyline.

Andrew Lincoln shared a bit about Rick’s evolution: “This season is a radical change… he has realized he is moving toward Shane’s uncompromising, brutal decision-making.” As a result of the events that ended Season 2, Carl and Rick will have a massive readjustment in their relationship and within the group as a whole. Carl is “more of a solider than a son.

After so many years creating zombies, we wondered how Nicotero is keeping things fresh on “The Walking Dead”, and luckily in Season 3 he doesn’t have to work too hard at it since in the prison setting there are plenty of spooky corridors to keep viewers on edge. He called it a real “House of Horrors.

As for everyone’s favorite couple – Glenn and Maggie (Yeun and Cohan) – as much as Maggie may have wanted Glenn to stay closer to home during Season 2, we can now look forward to them joining forces and going on runs together. And she won’t be clashing with the other women in the group either; they are more of a family than anything else.

Kirkman told us that this season will once again be split into two parts of eight episodes each with about the same amount of time between the two halves as we had to endure in Season 2. But the good news is he’s writing at least two of the upcoming season’s episodes: the mid-season finale (which everyone agreed is going to blow us away) and an episode in the back half.

At last we got a turn with Holden, Gurira, and Morrissey. The two women discussed the genuine love and mutual respect that grows between their two characters. Dale was a father figure for her and Shane a mentor, but after Amy died, Andrea really didn’t have anyone to turn to, but now, with Michonne, she has a true friend.

Morrissey was asked how closely the Governor of the TV series mirrors the Governor of the comics, and he said that while they do differ a bit, his portrayal is definitely “in the spirit of” the comics. And no, he hasn’t read them all, but he did read Kirkman’s Rise of the Governor, which gave him a perfect feel for the character.