New Faces, Emotions, Rick Grimes’ Return & More From ‘TWD’ Comic-Con Panel

2019 Comic-Con International -
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Danai Gurira and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

A celebration for the 10th season of The Walking Dead wouldn’t be complete without a return to Hall H at Comic Con. After all, the show did one of its first big press launches there. Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick introduced numerous producers and 11 cast members (one via video) to preview the upcoming season!

In addition to some new characters, and the departure of a series favorite, and a premiere date (Sunday, October 6th), the show also announced that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) will return to the stories – but only in theaters!

Check out the teaser trailer here:

Without further ado, here are the highlights!

On whether or not Danai Gurira (Michonne) is leaving the show or not: “I can confirm that this is the last season I will be on this amazing TV show as Michonne,” Gurira said. (While this caused some whispering among attendees if this meant she’ll be playing a different role, there’s no indication that that’s in the offing.)

On what executive producer Angela Kang is most looking forward to: “I’m excited about Season 10 because we’re still finding new ways to explore the story. We’re going into a whole different style. The Whisperers are a different type of enemy. We’ll see what’s it like to be in a Whisper War.”

On what executive producer Scott Gimple recalls about the show’s early days: “I remember seeing the poster [for season one] on Lankershim Blvd. and I thought, ‘Oh, wow! This looks like it’s being done right.’ I remember getting a call and going to a meeting [for the show] and I wore a sweater vest and a tie with foxes on it. I don’t know if it went that well [but here I am with [creator] Robert Kirkman mocking me every day.”

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On what Kirkman recalled about that meeting: “There are so many things I wanted to mention [to Scott] about that meeting. [He] was fantastic [but] he has this thing when he gets nervous, he goes flush read. I remember [saying later] he looks like a tomato!”

On what Kirkman wants to say to the show’s loyal fans: “I really want to thank the fans for being here in Hall H. The comic book is something that is very special to me. I can’t thank you all enough. You can see how it was about Rick Grimes and Carl Grimes’ stories. [But] this show is [also] about world [of The Walking Dead] and we’ve proven that with this last season. Anyone concerned that [because] the comic is wrapped up that next season will end with episode four, well that will not happen. There is a lot more story to tell!”

Robert Kirkman (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

On new characters: “We have Thora Birch who you know from Ghost World and Hocus Pocus,” says executive producer Gale Ann Hurd. “She is going to be playing a Gamma in the upcoming 10th. Gamma is a Whisperer sentry fiercely protective of Alpha. She is a believer and committed to the Whisperers’ way of life.” Hurd also announced the addition actor Kevin Carroll (The Leftovers, Snowfall) as Virgil, a highly intelligent and resourceful man who is desperately trying to get home to his family. “We look forward to sharing their stories,” Hurd added.

On directing the first new episode of Season 10: “Angela [Kang] wrote the episode, which I directed,” said Greg Nicotero. “We’re seeing our characters in very different lights. The opening three minutes [of the Season 10 premiere] is unlike anything we’ve ever done. The show constantly challenges me. We have a big cast and we’re constantly reminding ourselves that we are paying tribute to you [the audience] and we’re looking for ways to thank you.”

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They join the currently untitled second 'TWD' spinoff, which is slated to debut on AMC in Spring 2020.

On what Norman Reedus (Daryl) says we can expect in Season 10: “There’s a lot of people losing their [expletive] this season. There’s a lot of paranoia. You can’t tell who’s who. The walls are closing in and [Daryl] is trying to get along with everyone!”

On advice Reedus would give to a Season 1 Daryl: “Lighten up, maybe? I’d tell him to trust people more [because] soon or later you’re going to have to rely on them.”

On there being a showdown between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Alpha (Samantha Morton): “There deserves to be one,” says McBride. “Carole wants vengeance. There should be a showdown.”

Cailey Fleming, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride and Avi Nash (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

On if having a gymnastics background helps her with fight scenes: “Totally,” says Cailey Fleming (Judith). “I’ve had a lot of sword training. Danai [Gurira, Michonne] looks so fierce when she [fights] and I have to make it look like she show me how to do it. You’ll see more of that.”

On the previous season: “Last year was a long year for Negan,” says his portrayer, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “I think he’s going to stretch his legs this season. [But] we’ll see what happens when he gets a weapon in his hands.”

On what next season will bring for Siddiq (Ava Nash): “You don’t see and survive something that brutal and be the same person,” says Nash. “He’s a little bit of a broken man and is dealing with survivor’s guilty.”

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Tricia Helfer spilled on her bloody good new role, and she and her castmates shared their favorite lines.

(Samantha Morton (Alpha) couldn’t be at the panel so she send the following video message: “Hello, everyone in Hall H. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with you. I thought I’d send this quick video. I’m so excited about what’s involved for Season 10. Thank you for your support.”)

On if Ryan Hurst (Beta) know what affect he’s had on Walking Dead fandom and what’s ahead for him in Season 10: “Bad guys are always the most fun to play. I’ve been a part of other successful shows. Norman and Jeff were like, ‘Welcome to the show.’ Without giving too much away, we get to investigate Alpha and Beta finding out why they are who they are.”

On whether or not Eleanor Mastuura (Yumiko) and Nadia Hilker (Magna) felt like outsiders in Season 9: “Last season was about finding a safe place for our group,” says Matsuura. “It was like life imitating art. We joined the show at such a pivotal point with Andy leaving. It really felt like we were the new kids at school. This time, we’re coming back for Season 10 and it’s more familiar. It feels more like home. [On-screen,] we found a home in Hilltop and we want to protect it.”

Angela Kang, Danai Gurira, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

On a faux pas she made for the entire first season she was on the show: “Fun fact,” says Hiker. “I called Danai [the name] ‘Daniar’ for [a year]. When we were wrapping, she came to me and said, ‘You know it’s not Daniar – it’s Danai.’ Well, I think she liked [the way I said it]. I find her very skilled and I have a lot of respect for her.”

On Jerry’s outlook now that the Kingdom has fallen: “Jerry’s outlook is still pretty positive,” says Cooper Andrews, his portrayer. “That’s the best part of playing him. Seeing it go is tough for Jerry, but he’s going to do his best to keep it going.”

The Walking Dead, Season 10, Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9p, AMC