SDCC 2019: The Walking Dead Panel Recap

(Photo: Brandon Davis/

The cast and producers of The Walking Dead took the stage in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con to preview Season 10, which premieres on Sunday, October 6. The transcript below is a live series of updates from the panel.

Angela Kang, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, an d Greg Nicotero were the first to get on stage.

"We're getting into a whole different style of war," Kang said. "The Whisperers are a totally different kind of enemy so we'll get to see what it's like to see a Whisperer War."

What does 10 years of TWD mean to Gimple? "I read the book before there was a show," Gimple points out. "The web wasn't quite what it is ten years ago. I remember being on Lankenship Booulevard and seeing the poster and just being so excited like, 'This looks like the comic, this looks like that famous page.'"

"When I saw the show, those six Sunday nights were incredible for me, I was like, 'That's the show I wanna make,'" Gimple said. He encourages the crowd to pursue dreams of making a show their passionate about if they really want to. Also, he is wearing socks with his son's face on them.

Kirkman is asked about ending the comic. "I cannot thank all of you enough for the support," Kirkman said. "This show is about the world and we've problem that with the last season. Anyone is concerned that the comic book wrapped up means that Season 10 is going to spontaneously end on Episode 4 as a surprise, that's not going to happen." He is working with Gimple and Kang to see if the show can go past the point of the comics.

Thora Birch from Ghost World is cast as Gamma, "a whisperer who is fiercely protective of Alpha and committed believer in the Whisperer way of life," according to Hurd. Kevin Carroll from The Leftovers is playing Virgil. Resourceful, desperate to get home.

"Angela wrote the first episode which I directed," Nicotero said of his Season 10 experience. "The greatest thing about it is it feels new and it feels fresh and we're seeing our characters in very different lights. The opening first 3 minutes is unlike anything we've done and you're not gonna be sure what show you're watching for 30 seconds. You're gonna see a lot of it in the trailer."

They roll into the trailer release after dismissing the executive producers.

The cast take the stage.

"There's a whole lot of people losing their s--- this season," Norman Reedus said. "He's watching everybody lose it and he's trying to pick up the pieces behind them. There's a lot of paranoia this year. The threat is right next to us and you can't tell who's who." He elaborates and on Daryl's role and says he is learning to trust people. "

Carol in Season 10? "There deserves to be one. Carol wants vengeance. It's hard enough to survive in a world where the world itself, the odds are against you," Melissa McBride said. "Then you have a human being coming and making it all that much worse and taking things from you. I think there should be a showdown." Carol in Season 10 is "leading" according to the actress. "She's leading her own fight in a way, in a big way. Also, by Season 10, it's like Carol has been so many different types of people. Every season she comes back and there's a new evolution and I think those aspects of Carol are extremely important and it makes sense and they are why she's still here."

Where is Michonne at? Danai Gurira explains that the healing she started to find is somewhat stripped by the new threat. "It's a responsibility now," she says. "Healing involves vulnerability which is scary and it involves taking on all of these people and saying, 'I'm taking you all on.' ... To open up again is what it's all about. How do you carry this number of people as she would want to and expect herself to?"

It is Judith actress Cailey Fleming's first Hall H. She says that a gymnastics background helps her. "With sword training you have to have really sharp movements," she said. "I have had a lot of sword training and Danai looks so fierce when she does it. She makes it look so awesome. Her apocalypse weapon of choice: "I have two. I think it would be cool to have Daryl's crossbow or Lucille."

Is Negan begin freed? "Negan is gonna stretch his legs a bit," Jeffrey Dean Morgan said. "I think that Negan's relationship with the likes of Judith is as genuine as it could be but the thing about Negan is that he is always going to be Negan. Now that he's out of that cell a little bit...he's sharp and witty and a little bit cutting with the words he has to say and we'll see what happens if he gets a weapon in his hands. He's not gonna hurt Judith, I can tell you that."

Avi Nash details Siddiq's journey which includes PTSD. "He's not having a great time," he said.

Samantha Morton sent a message from the set. She apologizes for not being here. "I'm so excited about what's in store for Season 10, of course for Alpha and the Whisperers," she said. "Thank you for being the best fans in the world. Thank you."

Ryan Hurst is asked about the effect he has had on the fandom playing the villainous Beta. "Bad guy is always the most fun," he said. "I've been a part of other successful shows and Norman and Jeff really were like, 'Yo, welcome to the family man. These fans are the best.' I go on record saying: The Fam, the best."

What about SEason 10 for Beta? "He has a spinoff cooking show," Hurst said. "Without giving away too much, we get sort of investigate more about Alpha and ?Beta and why they became who they are which was a lot of fun to shoot. We just got done, Nicotero and I, doing that this week." He promises: "The Whisperers are coming on full force."

Eleanor Matsuura is asked if her group is being welcomed. "Last season was so much about finding a safe place for our group," she said. "It felt like life imitating art." The new cast of actors joined at a "pivotal point with Andy leaving" and they all got to experience joining the production together. In Season 10, it is all more familiar. Meanwhile, Nadia Hilker admits she called Gurira "Dania" instead of "Danai." It took the entirety of Season 9 to find out the correct pronunciation. More seriously, she sees a lot of similarities between Magna and Michonne and jokes about how much she might like Michonne.

Will Daryl forgive but not forget with Negan? Probably, according to Reedus. "It's great working with Jeff," Reedus said. "I work with all the girls all the time and I love all the girls but sometimes if someone is gossiping they won't tell me. Jeffrey will tell me what he's gossiping." He saids Negan is completely different than what we saw before. "I think there's a mutual understanding between these characters. I think that they might need each other at some point...Everybody thinks they're doing the right thing. We've all killed people. We've all done crazy things. Maybe there's a time when we need him. That big bald bad-ass behind us might be the reason."

Is this Michonne's final season? "I can confirm that this is the last season I will be on the amazing TV show as Michonne," Gurira said, getting emotionnal. "I'd just like to say that this has been one of the purest joys of my life, to play this role, and to be amongst these people and those that are not here right now and amongst all of you. I'm very, very thankful for the experience I've had in ways that I can't even express right now. My heart does not leave in any way shape or form. The beauty is that TWDFamily is forever and I came in in 2012 and felt this energy and this connection never ends. It's not connected to the decision I made...It was about my calling and other things I feel called to and the opportunities I've had through the other things I do as a creator or work."

"She came in in Season 3...The mark that she's left ,the excellence everyday...her professionalism," Kang said. "It's been a remarkable journey that we've been on with her and it's been remarkable to see her just \blooming and spreading her wings. On the writing side, we take this very seriously...In the same way that we were working on an exit for Andy, we approached it with the same level of seriousness and wanting to do right by this incredible actress and the story. I hope we haven't screwed it up! We've put her through her paces this year...She brought the A++ game as she always does...we saw a little clip of her in a mysterious pose with Lucille so we'll learn some more about that and I'm just excited for people to see the depth and beauty of her work as always. We will miss the hell out of her."

Gurira tells a fan question that she is "deeply involved" in writing for TV right now. She credits the team behind The Walking Dead for helping her learn how to create for television.

Will Norman lead the gang into Area 51? "I'm not sure what that is," he said. "I think you could just go out in the hallway," he said of seeing aliens. "Yeah, why not?" he says. "Let's storm Area 51. Let's go find an alien."

Will the Hilltop get a leader who won't die? "Ezekiel, he's definitely dealing with issues of leadership and what his place in the world is," Kang said. "I don't want to say too much about it because I think it will be a surprise left turn for people but a lot of deep and touching work from Khary Payton."

Where does Reedus get inspiration for Daryl's backstory? "I'm like one of those guys that cries on planes," he says. "For some reason, it's harder for me to do the jovial laughter character than it is to do that kind of vibe. Life experience, some of it. A lot of those scenes have been with really good actors that allow me to do stuff, like Melissa or Andy. People that would let you go there. Remember me carrying Beth out? Remember that? I wanted to look like I was exhausted of tears and not crying doing that. The crew on our show let me sit in an igloo chest and just bawl for an hour and a half." The crew gives everyone the appropriate space to get their performance right.


Does Negan see Carl in Judith? "I think a little bit, yeah," Jeffrey Dean Morgan said. "I think he likes kids, he generally has issues with adults...It's not just Grimes children I think he has an affinity towards... He was a teacher before the apocalypse. I think definitely, yes, there's definitely some stuff that he sees in Judith that is Carl."