AMC’s The Walking Dead always has a strong presence at San Diego Comic-Con, and this year was no different. The smash hit zombie drama revealed a new trailer and that the first six minutes of the season five premiere are apparently going to be totally bananas. But there is a lot more waiting for fans when the show returns on Sunday, October 12.
We weren’t at Comic-Con this year, we’re afraid of crowds and bright colors, but our dear friends at Cinema Blend aren’t the scaredy-cats that we are, and we all over the massive nerd gathering. They got the opportunity to sit down at roundtables with some of the writers and producers of The Walking Dead, and were able to gather some insight into the upcoming season, as well as some news on the long-gestating spin off.
Familiar Yet Different
Fans of Robert Kirkman’s comics that serve as the source material are going to have some things to look forward to in season five. The show has always been a mix of new material and stories from comics, though often with significant tweaks and changes. According to showrunner Scott Gimple, that is going to continue. He says:
There’s gonna be, ‘oh yeah, exactly like the comic.’ There’s gonna be stuff that there’s no way that you could possibly guess because it isn’t from the comic at all. But even in that story, there’s a couple moments from the comic that we missed, that are from like a year and a half ago in the timeline. So, real Walking Dead comics nerds, they’re not going to know which way the comic stories are coming. We hope to drive them insane. That is our goal.
This is a good way to hook already existing fans with elements that are familiar, but not following the source so closely that you already know exactly what is going on. As they’ve shown in the past, the series is not afraid to diverge from the source. For instance, killing off Andrea (Laurie Holden) who is still very much alive and kicking ass in the comics.
There’s Even More Than What’s In The Trailer
The trailer that debuted at Comic-Con is long and intense and full of action and intrigue. It hints at the direction the new episodes will take, revealing some storylines both in Terminus, where the bulk of the key characters were trapped at the end of season four, as well as what happens after that. You get a good look at the future both immediately and beyond, but apparently there is much more coming up that they didn’t even hint at. Kirkman says that season five will be “jam-packed.”
You Haven’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
The Walking Dead has always pushed the boundaries of what you can and can’t show on television. Gore and violence are a way of life, but according to what star Norman Reedus (Daryl) says, “You haven’t seen nothin’ yet.” Given what we’ve heard about the opening of season five, which apparently so grim that it even shocked the actors when they saw it the first time, you can bet that we’re going to get darker and even more brutal than what you’ve already seen.
One thing The Walking Dead has been successful at is with aging the zombies. Each season, as time passes, the walkers decay more and more, getting increasingly gross and rotten. It adds a concrete air to the show, so that even though you’re in a world where corpses stroll around biting everyone they see, there is still a sense of reality to the situation. It’s a seemingly small detail that most don’t even notice, but one that helps sell the world they’ve created.
This is, of course, going to continue. Gimple spoke about some of the things that special effects guru Greg Nicotero has planned for season five, saying, “Greg is introducing a new state of decay to the walkers…He does walkers without noses and it doesn’t look fake.” So keep an eye out for nose-less zombies.
What The Future Has In Store
For as much talk as there’s been about the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff, we don’t really know anything about what it will look like or what the story will involve. However, it does sound like we could hear something concrete before too awful long. Kirkman says, “I’m doing something with it almost every day…It’s taking a while, but it’s not taking longer than anticipated.”