There were tons of announcements happening during the Comic-Con@Home Walking Dead panel. First, we now know that the season 10 finale of The Walking Dead, directed by Greg Nico finally has a release date: October 4, 2020! And showrunner Angela Kang announced that there will be an additional six episodes added to season 10 after the finale that will air in early 2021. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, season 11 will not run on its traditional schedule and no episodes from that season are planned to air in 2021. However, the writers have been working remotely on scripts for months.
The cast was split between two question and answer sessions, with Angela Kang, Greg Nicotero, Scott Gimple, Melissa McBride, Norman Reedus, Khary Payton, and Ross Marquand starting the presentation.
Angela Kang and Greg Nicotero discuss the last shots of episode 15, “The Tower,” where Beta is advancing with his massive group of walkers and what his mindset and his drives were at that moment. Nicotero notes that the trajectory of the season as a whole felt like every episode gave viewers something more than the episode before it.
In talking about Daryl’s arc for the season, Norman Reedus said that Daryl was experiencing multiple heartbreaks with watching Carol have multiple breakdowns and promising Michonne that he would take care of her children. “Mentally, it’s pretty exhausting having to go in all the different directions.”
Reedus mentions that Daryl is always being put into situations where he has to step up and be the leader, whether he wants to or not. After a fan question about a rematch between Beta and Daryl, Reedus jokes that Daryl would rather shoot him with an arrow from afar because Beta is a big guy.
Melissa McBride describes Carol’s arc through season 10 as “same water, different boat.” In the beginning, she was trying to make amends and then becomes blinded by vengeance once more. McBride’s favorite part of the episode that they ended on was the talk that Carol had with Kelly and the reminder that it’s okay to be a lone wolf.
The relationship between Daryl and Carol was discussed and what that might look like when season 11 premieres. Kang noted that “they have one of the coolest relationships on the show. It’s so much fun to write for both Norman and Melissa… With any really long, deep relationship with anybody in people’s lives it gets complicated because they can be real with each other in ways that not everybody can. But that means that the hurts run deeper… you start from that point and then they’ve got a long road to travel. We’re writing some stuff now and we’ll see where it all lands.”
Khary Payton talked about Ezekiel both running away from his problems and running towards adventure in season 10. “There are definitely aspects of his life that he wants to leave behind,” confirms Payton. Ezekiel is looking for a fresh start even though he knows he’s not long for the world. He’s determined to fit his bucket list in some way, somehow and that started with pedaling into the great unknown.
A fan asked if Ross Marquand would like to see Aaron with a new love interest in season 11. “He came very close with Jesus,” Marquand reminded everyone in the six-year time jump. But while he would love to see it, he also thinks that this may not be the best time for romance with all of the threats closing in on the group. Marquand also jokes that everyone Aaron gets close to, including Eric and Jesus, has died so far.
The second half of the panel kept Angela Kang, Greg Nicotero, and Scott Gimple, but also brought out Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Seth Gilliam, Paola Lazaro, and Josh McDermitt to discuss season 10 so far.
The extended look at the season 10 finale reveals that Lauren Cohan and Maggie are officially back on The Walking Dead with a note telling Maggie she needs to return from wherever she is. Cohan spent time shadowing one of the directors on set and catching up with everyone, so when it came time to finally acting on the show once more, she wasn’t overwhelmed by her return.
Kang teases that Maggie’s coming back into the fold not having seen any of Negan’s growth over the years. “The guy that she thought she left to rot in prison is out walking around with everybody else.” They’ll have to figure out how to occupy the same space once more. Jeffrey Dean Morgan jokes that “I saved a lot of her friends!”
A fan asks how Negan would feel about meeting Maggie and Glenn’s son Hershel, who not even Cohan has met yet (presumably because they haven’t been cast yet). “I think that Negan definitely has a soft spot for the younger generation,” Morgan says, “And we’ve seen that numerous times… I don’t think he would shy away from letting this kid know who he is and try to work through it.” He speculates that may be one way that Maggie could see another side to Negan because he’s gone through such a journey in her absence.
Seth Gilliam explains Father Gabriel’s growth this season as him embracing his leadership. After failing to protect his community the first time around and “God has given him a second chance at leadership… He’s going to do everything he can to do it correctly this time.” Gilliam points out that Gabriel made some really tough choices in season 10 by himself without consulting anyone else, which has empowered him even more.
Josh McDermitt is asked what Eugene sees in Stephanie that he didn’t see in Rosita, to which he’s quick to point out that they haven’t seen each other yet. “They have similar interests and I think he’s connecting with her on a level that he never really connected with Rosita on… they’re into some nerdy things and that’s awesome… She laughs at his weird references and she probably has some of her own weird references.”
Newcomer Paola Lazaro, who plays Princess, jokes that her family teases her about her role on The Walking Dead, but that the fan reception has “been really beautiful because I’ve been able to share with the world something that I’ve worked so hard for, and to share with the world a character that I think has a huge heart, regardless of her struggles in the past.” A fan asks what kind of pet Princess would have if she could choose one and she picks out an Eagle named Risky, which is an amazing answer.
A fan asks Angela Kang how she will continue to ensure that The Walking Dead is one of the most inclusive and diverse shows on television, to which she credits Robert Kirkman’s comic book world first being diverse. “There’s no one type of person that makes the ideal survivor. Everybody has to come together just like the show has to reflect the people that are in this country that are fighting to survive.”
You can watch the entire Comic-Con@Home panel for The Walking Dead on Comic-Con International’s Youtube channel to hear everything that the cast and crew talk about. Remember that the season 10 finale airs October 4, 2020 and audiences will get an extended season in early 2021 with six additional episodes in season 10.
What were you most excited to learn about during this panel? Let us know in the comments!