The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Comic-Con: ‘Walking Dead’ Panel

Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageBear McCreary of Battlestar Galactica and actor Michael Rooker have joined the Walking Dead team. Both announcements were made during a rollicking discussion kicked off by a gaggle of staggering zombies that prowled the floor before the packed panel for AMC’s new series The Walking Dead.

Showrunner Frank Darabont of Shawshank Redemption fame said that the original comic book of The Walking Dead caught his attention immediately, and he snatched the book right off the shelf.

“It was the venue I had been looking for to do zombies,” he said, later adding that the show will go in its own directions. He described it as a show filled with “interesting detours,” and he added that comic writer Robert  Kirkman encouraged and endorsed the additions.

“I want the comic and the show to exist separately on their own terms and be filled with surprises,” Kirkman said.

The initial run for the show will only get six episodes, and producer Gale Anne Hurd confirmed that the showrunners are treating the show more like an extended movie than a TV series.

Zombie master (and make-up guru) Greg Nicotoro explained that he and his team let their undead performers improvide a great deal on set. They mostly avoided giving directions, instead letting actors roam freely. They also pressed artist Charlie Adlard into duty as a zombie. Kirkman declined the honor.

“Too sticky,” he said.

Kirkman is also doing some writing for the show, including screenwriting duties for a recent episode.

Panelists included showrunner Frank Darabont, writer Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, AMC’s Joel Stillerman, Andrew Lincoln, actors Sarah Wayne Callies, name and name. IGN TV editor Eric Morrow moderated.

Producer Gale Anne Hurd touched on the grassroots popularity of the comic and the show when she described how she found the property.

“I think for most of us, The Walking Dead found us.”

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