Over the past decade, The Walking Dead has become as big a part of San Diego Comic-Con as the comics. Or San Diego. It’s just expected that each summer, the cast and crew of AMC’s hit zombie show are going to fly into southern California, hold a huge panel (first in Ballroom 20, eventually in Hall H), and bring new footage from the upcoming season. Though covid-19 has complicated this tradition, thanks to virtual San Diego Comic-Con 2021, The Walking Dead still managed to give the zombie faithful what they want: a new trailer and a lot of fun information.
There’s so, so much in that trailer—new adversaries, new friendships, death, destruction, and the cast and crew talked all about it during the Comic-Con @ Home panel. First thing’s first. While the season premiere will be on August 22, it’ll actually debut on AMC+ on August 15. That one-week early access will continue all season for the show. Also, lthough this is the start of the “final season,” we’ll be getting three sets of eight episodes, with the final 16 airing in 2022, so lots more to come.
All of the actors discussed what their characters had going on for the upcoming season, to the best of their abilities without spoilers, but when Lauren Cohan was asked how Maggie feels now being in the same place with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)—the man who killed Glen, the father of her child—she said, “That’s the whole season!” A big part of the story, as you see in the trailer, will also be new villains the Reapers. Showrunner Angela Kang said those characters distinguish themselves from other Walking Dead villains because they aren’t just skilled now, they were all skilled before the zombie apocalypse. “They’re incredibly brutal, organized warriors,” she said. “They’re formidable in a way our characters don’t often come across.”
One of the most popular of those characters is, of course, Daryl, played by Norman Reedus. At this point, he and Carol (Melissa McBride) are kind of the parents of this show, having survived since the very beginning. In one of the panel’s most touching moments, when asked about his feelings on the state of their fictional world, Reedus said he doesn’t think his character would have the best answer to that. He wishes he could hear what Rick would say, or Hershel. He said he felt his character has taken pieces from all his friends they’ve lost along the way and is just trying to hang on.
You can watch that, and so much more, in the full panel linked here. The Walking Dead season 11 begins August 22. For more on the world of the Walking Dead, read about The Walking Dead: World Beyond season two SDCC panel here and the Fear the Walking Dead season seven panel here.
Oh, and if you were hoping for more news on the future of The Walking Dead— maybe that Rick Grimes movie?—that was not revealed here. However, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman did his own panel earlier in the day and got asked about the movie, which was teased at Comic-Con back in 2019. “It’s definitely going to be before 2032,” Kirkman joked on his panel, which you can watch here. “I wish there were more updates. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes…and I’m as frustrated as you guys are that we’re not able to reveal everything to you and talk about it non-stop. But Andrew Lincoln is amazing. I miss seeing [him] run around as Rick Grimes. I can’t wait until we’re filming this thing and this thing is coming out. It’s gonna be awesome. Everyone is working very hard to make it as good as we can be.”
“We don’t want a bad Rick Grimes movie, right?” he continued. “We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie. And so everybody behind the scenes is making sure that when this comes out it’s worth the wait and it is actually the special, character-building, Rick Grimes journey that everyone wants it to be. So we’re not going to be rushing this thing out and we’re gonna make sure that it’s perfect…When it finally comes out, when we’re showing trailers and stuff you’ll see. You’ll be like ‘That’s exactly what we wanted. I’m so glad they waited.’”
So there’s your non-update.
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