Melissa Hutchison, who voices the still-not-bitten Clementine in Telltale Games’ Walking Dead video game franchise, says the abrupt cancellation of The Walking Dead: The Final Season was “traumatic” and “devastating.”
“It was actually something out of a movie, it was very dramatic. I was actually in a recording session for The Final Season when the axe dropped, and the session had to stop,” Hutchison said at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey.
Hutchison explained she had just “about an hour” left in the session and the news bewildered herself and voice director Jack Fletcher.
“It was all very dramatic. I called a very dear friend of mine who worked at Telltale and I was like, ‘Yo, what’s going on, man?’ And he was just kind of deliriously like, ‘They shut the doors, it’s all done, we’re done, it’s gone,’” Hutchison said.
“And then I basically cried myself into physical pain [laughs]. It was about two weeks of hell. I say that, that’s pretty dramatic... but we’d been working with Telltale a very long time.
“Beyond my selfish reasons of course of, ‘Well, what about Clementine? What about the fans?’ This company that we’ve worked for for so many years, this is an amazing company, and to see it just gone in a heartbeat... and all those people losing their jobs, it was devastating.”
The Walking Dead creator and Skybound Entertainment co-founder Robert Kirkman later announced at New York Comic Con his company had successfully negotiated a deal to oversee the game’s fourth season to completion under Skybound Games.
“We can’t lose [Rick Grimes star] Andrew Lincoln and Clementine in the same year,” Kirkman said.
Hutchison added she neglected to answer a phone call from Skybound Interactive president Dan Murray while on vacation, only learning of The Final Season’s resurrection later that night when her Twitter feed was “blowing up.”
“I still was like, ‘Okay, well as soon as the Telltale folks are back in the office working, then I’ll [celebrate].’ It wasn’t like, ‘Whoo, I’m back!’ It was a really traumatic thing that happened,” she said.
“My first thing was to call them and say, ‘Hey, yo, is this real?’ And they’re like, ‘We’ll see.’ So as soon as they were back working in the office, I was like, ‘Okay.’ But then I had a recording session a few days ago and I was like, ’Okay, so now I feel great,’ but it took a while.”
The employees who have resumed work on The Final Season are “fine, they kind of joke around about it,” Hutchison said.
“It’s this little core group of people who are like on this whole giant floor... so it’s a little macabre for them, but they are very happy to be back. And the story continues, and that’s the most important part.”
The Walking Dead: The Final Season episode 3, “Broken Toys,” releases January 15 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.