“The Walking Dead” celebrated its upcoming 10th season at Comic-Con, releasing the official trailer to a packed Hall H audience and conducting a split panel with the producers and the cast.
At the end, a clip was shown for “The Walking Dead” movie, simply titled “The Walking Dead.” The previously announced Rick Grimes movie is now official, and Universal will release the film in theaters at a date yet to be determined.
Though much of what’s to come in the new episodes was kept locked up by spoiler-phobic actors and writers, showrunner Angela Kang did reveal new cast members, set the release date — October 6 — and promised fans “a very different kind of war” in Season 10.
“We’re still finding new ways to tell stories,” Kang said. “The Whisperers are a different type of enemy, so we’ll get to see what it’s like to be in the Whisperer War.”
Gale Anne Hurd announced the two new cast members: Thora Birch will play Gamma, “a whisperer who’s fiercely protective of Alpha,” while “The Leftovers” star Kevin Carroll will play Virgil which, coincidentally, is the name of his character’s father-in-law in HBO’s landmark drama. As for “The Walking Dead,” Hurd said of Virgil, “He encounters some of our group. He’s going to be desperately trying to get home to his family. We look forward to sharing their stories and these fine actors with you.” A press release from AMC added that Virgil is “a highly intelligent and resourceful man.”
Meanwhile, Danai Gurira confirmed her long-rumored departure from the show, earning a standing ovation from the cast, showrunner, and entire Hall H audience.
“I can confirm this will be my last season on the show as Michonne,” she said. “This has been one of the purest joys of my life to play this role, be amongst these people, and amongst all of you. I am very thankful for the experience I’ve had. […] I will say my heart does not leave in any way, shape or form. […] The connection between us never ends. It was a very difficult decision. […] It was about my calling, other things I feel called to, and the other things I’ve [wanted to explore].”
Gurira said she’s “deeply involved” in writing TV at the moment, while Kang said the “Walking Dead” team “will miss the hell out of” Gurira. She also said it would be very hard to replace her presence on the cast. Gurira’s departure comes one year after Andrew Lincoln’s exit, the series lead since the first season, but the producers rebuffed any inkling of the show coming to a close.
“This show is about the world,” Robert Kirkman said. “Anyone who is concerned that the comic book wrapped up or thinks Season 10 is going to end on Episode 4 as some sort of surprise, that’s not true. There’s a lot more story to tell.”
To that end, Norman Reedus said Daryl will grow during Season 10.
“There’s a whole lot of people losing their shit this season,” Reedus said. “He’s really watching everyone lose it, and he’s kind of picking up the pieces behind us. […] The threat is right next to us and you can’t tell who’s who. […] He’s trying to be a supportive person and get along with everyone.”
Former very bad man Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is still split between breaking good and rediscovering his brain-bashing roots.
“Last year was a long year for Negan, and it was, what, 10 years?” Morgan said. “It was a long 10 years, so I think he’s going to stretch his legs this season. […] People ask all the time if it’s real or if it’s an act he’s putting on, and I think his relationship with Judith is as real as it can be, but Keegan is always going to be Negan. […] We’ll see what happens when he gets a weapon in his hands.”
Earlier in the day, AMC announced new casting for “The Walking Dead’s” third series in the franchise, which begins production in Richmond, VA next week. Annet Mahendru (Huck) and Aliyah Royale (Iris) join Alexa Mansour (Hope), Nicolas Cantu (Elton) and Hal Cumpston (Silas) in the untitled new show. Per a press release:
The untitled third series will focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“You’re the Worst,” “Kong: Skull Island”) will direct the series co-created by Scott M. Gimple and Matt Negrete, who will serve as the series showrunner. The series will premiere on AMC in spring 2020.
Find out for yourself when “The Walking Dead” Season 10 premieres Sunday, October 6. Watch the Season 10 trailer below.
“The Walking Dead” Season 10 premieres Sunday, October 6 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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