It's a horde! "The Walking Dead's" producers and stars faced 4,000 more fans at Friday's Comic-Con panel than they did last year, and rewarded attendees with plenty of scoop about the upcoming fourth season.
"Things are just going to keep getting crazier," promised Robert Kirkman, creator of the original "TWD" comic books and now an executive producer on the zombie drama.
"It's escalated," agreed showrunner Scott Gimple, who penned the first episode. "It's going to get insane very quickly."
The feel of the panel was similar, shifting from somber to silly throughout the hour. Some highlights:
- Scott Wilson, whose character lost a leg last season, drew the first laugh by faking a hop when he walked to his seat. Later on, when asked about Hershel's motivation this year, he quipped: "I think he really just wants to hold on to his other leg."
- We will see "a brand-new Rick," said Andrew Lincoln, adding that the sheriff is finally able to prioritize his children over his Ricktatorship. "I think the death of his wife, and (his relationship with his) son — the brutality of what happened in season three — was cataclysmic. When we meet them in season four, there's a whole new community in the prison."
- Michonne "starts to become part of the community," said Danai Gurira. "Andrea's parting message was affirming that Michonne was in the right place."
- Vocal fans believe her place also belongs with Rick ... romantically. (Get ready for the chants calling for "Richonne"!) "We're playing footsie" said Lincoln when asked whether their adjacent seats was a hint of things to come.
- Glenn and Maggie have repaired their relationship, which was nearly destroyed by Glenn's single-minded thirst for vengeance in the aftermath of the Governor's violation. "Guys are just self-centered," said Steven Yeun, but Lauren Cohan responded: "He's forgiven, though." ("If only everyone could be so forgiving" cracked moderator Chris Hardwicke of "The Talking Dead.")
- Chad Coleman said Tyreese's focus will be on fitting into the new group after leaving Woodbury. "No one is unscathed, and eventually a can of whoop-ass will open up."
- Everyone on the show still considers their fallen comrades part of "TWD" family. Lincoln said, "The only bad thing about this show is I get to work with amazing actors and build amazing friendships — then they get bitten. And I shoot 'em."
- Lincoln and David Morrissey's on-screen rivalry continued to the panel — in jest. While filming their failed mediation, Lincoln said, "A lot of the crew were wearing Rick Grimes T-shirts."
"My memory is they had a patch on," retorted the fellow Brit.
The laughs and the scoops weren't all that the panel gave attendees. AMC also debuted the season's four-and-a-half minute trailer. And judging by the cuts, it seems there might be a new sheriff in prison town.
Crossbow-toting fan favorite Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) appears to be the main man in action for the first minute of the lengthy video. And where's Rick during all this? Somewhere in a few background shots.
Of course, when things look like they're getting bad for the gang of survivors, the former sheriff is there to help. And as Kirkman and Gimple teased, the situation gets pretty unpleasant. Rick and the group may have what seems like a nice little community now that they've got the kind folks who left Woodbury at the end of the last season, but looks can be deceiving.
The trailer hints that there may be someone — or something — in their midst who attacks the residents of the prison camp.
Find out who (or maybe what) the problem is when "The Walking Dead" returns for season four on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. on AMC.