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#SDCC16: Five Things We Learned About The Walking Dead Season 7

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This past Friday the new trailer for “The Walking Dead” Season 7 hit the Internet, and due to the way Season 6 ended, of course there wasn’t much revealed.  Afterwards, we had a chance to take part in the press conference for the show, which was attended by stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Ross Marquand, Christian Serratos, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan plus executive producer and showrunner Scott M. Gimple, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer Dave Alpert, and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero.

They were all pretty tight-lipped about what lies ahead, but we did manage to pry a little bit of info from them.  Here are five things we leaned:

– When asked whom we might be meeting in Season 7, Kirkman teased that there will be “more new characters, but right now we’re focusing on Ezekiel (played by Khary Payton) and Shiva (his pet tiger).”  Since it’s “not humane and also very dangerous to have a live tiger on set,” Shiva will be “all magic” (i.e., CGI). Gimple then joked that considering how good they’re getting at CGI, “one way or another, [although] I make no promises, we may see” some zombies in snow. Alpert explained that the Ezekiel/Shiva storyline “will not play out how you expect… [there will be] lots of swerves, zigging and zagging.” And is the “All Out War” of the comics coming?  Alpert, per usual, hedged, saying, “The show has to have a life of its own… this season and the plan to come is hitting [all the] milestones.”

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– On the mental state of our survivors: Yeun said they “were over-confident, but now they are more scared than they’ve ever been… ever.”  Cudlitz emphasized that they are realizing things are “really going sideways in real time.”  Gurira added that Rick had “confidence that almost teetered into cocky,” and they “were shown something quite different” than what they expected.  Lincoln echoed her thoughts: “Hubris was Rick’s downfall.” He was “probably doing the right thing” but had “too much pride behind it.” Now he’s “truly terrified for the first time since waking up” in the hospital.  “All he’s worked for, for 7 years, has been shattered.” Cohan succinctly summed up what’s been an overriding theme of the show since the beginning: “…there will be suffering and that is inevitable, but what do you learn and what do you become?”

– As for deciding on Negan’s victim(s), Nicotero explained that it was a huge challenge because “you know it’s coming… usually no one knows… but here everyone knows it’s coming.”  It’s important that it’s “brutal and unexpected and senseless” and lives “up to expectations.” The aftermath will be “how that [one act] changes the direction of the survivors… forever.” Hurd added that the “introduction to Negan is so important for people who don’t read the comic” so they’ll know “what a formidable, but somehow incredibly charming person he is.”

– Speaking of Negan, the equally charming Morgan said there’s “no trace of ‘Jeff’ there” in the character.  The role is like something he’s “never done before… I changed my movements and the inflection in my voice.”  It “gets seriously weird” when Negan is around, but he’s thankful since the role is “something really special.”  As for the fans’ reaction, he said, “Right now I’m okay… next year is going to be different.”  He expects a “salute of middle fingers” at the 2017 SDCC.

– Last, but certainly not least for us, we heard from Nicotero about the “amazing stuff” they have planned for the zombies this season.  Since Season 7 picks up immediately from the end of Season 6, not enough time has elapsed for any major changes to be required for the walkers, but he and his team “spent a lot of time finessing and fine-tuning” their look.  He said everyone working on the show is “still enthusiastic and committed… and take great pride that seven years ago there was nothing like this on TV.”

Below are some photos from our time with the cast and crew. “The Walking Dead” returns Sunday, October 23. After a mid-season break, the show will be back February 2017.

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Amazon Developing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower TV Series

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The Dark TowerIt’s been a while since we brought you guys an update on the planned TV series based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series.

But today it looks like we have confirmation via Deadline that, “Amazon… is developing a slew of high-profile titles, including The Dark Tower…”

The series is being developed by Amazon as part of their bid to move into bigger budgeted spectacles ala their recent acquisition of the rights to The Lord of the Rings.

No further info is available at this time but we will keep you up to date as we hear word on Amazon’s “The Dark Tower.”

Are you excited about this series? Let us know below!

Synopsis:

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

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Rutger Hauer Says There Was No Love and No Soul in Blade Runner 2049

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I don’t know about you, but I dug the hell out of last summer’s Blade Runner 2049. I found the film to be a tonally perfect addition to the Blade Runner universe and appreciated how it built on the story established in the original film.

That said, there are some out there that aren’t fans of the sequel – most of all, it seems, is the original film’s baddie, Rutger Hauer.

Recently, Hauer spoke with THR and didn’t hold back on his dislike of the new film.

“I sniff and scratch at it,” Hauer says. “It looks great, but I struggle to see why that film was necessary. I just think if something is so beautiful, you should just leave it alone and make another film. Don’t lean with one elbow on the success that was earned over 30 years in the underground.”

He continues: “In many ways Blade Runner wasn’t about the replicants; it was about what does it mean to be human? It’s like E.T. But I’m not certain what the question was in the second Blade Runner. It’s not a character-driven movie and there’s no humor, there’s no love, there’s no soul. You can see the homage to the original. But that’s not enough to me. I knew that wasn’t going to work. But I think it’s not important what I think.”

Wow, don’t hold back, Hauer. Tell us how you really feel!

I’m kidding. And while I don’t agree with Hauer on this particular issue, the man has more than earned the right to think it IS “important what [he] thinks.

Do you agree with Rutger Hauer on Blade Runner 2049? Let us know below!

Synopsis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

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Ash vs Evil Dead Set Visit Part 2: Learning About Kelly, Pablo, and Brandy

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If you haven’t read through the first part of my set visit for the third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, make sure to do so here.

After walking through the halls of Brandy’s high school, the sperm bank clinic that has been seen in the trailer, Brock’s house, and the streets of Elk Grove (all through the magic of set designs), it was time to sit down with stars Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, who told me about their characters Kelly and Pablo through this season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”! Oh, and there’s also a lot from Arielle Carver-O’Neill about her character Brandy as well, because who can resist hearing from Ash’s daughter?

After finding out that Dana, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, is a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, our interview nearly ended. After all, your boy is a Wolverine, through and through, and anyone who knows sports rivalries knows that Buckeyes and Wolverines don’t get along. That being said, we managed to put aside our differences so that I could learn a bit about Kelly and what she’ll be going through this season.

I really loved Kelly’s journey in season one and two. It was very exciting to play because, in a way, it mirrored my own as an actor coming into a franchise like this. Just like Kelly was dragged into this fight against evil and was caught completely off guard, it was very similar to the actor struggling for 10 years. I was living in Los Angeles working at a bar when I got this job. All of a sudden I’m being thrown into this with this incredible franchise, with the amazing producers of Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, where a franchise that’s built upon one man, a lone wolf as we’ve said, who is the star of this show and now he’s going to have sidekicks, that was terrifying as well! But it was really cool because I feel like I got to grow with Kelly and every time Kelly did something new, it was me doing something new,” DeLorenzo explains.

Expanding on that, DeLorenzo starts telling me more about Kelly and how she specifically changes through the upcoming season, saying, “At the end of season two, there’s the parade. And if you look, you can see that Kelly isn’t happy. Kelly is the smart one of that trifecta, the ghostbeaters. She knows that evil is not gone for good, which brings us to season three. Now that she’s tasted blood, she’s constantly chasing that high. So, at the start of season three, Kelly is a warrior without a war. She wants to stay on her game for when evil comes back. Her journey for season three…evil paints Kelly in a bloody corner and sets up her to fail where she can’t do what she does best, which is kick evil’s ass. She’s put in these catch-22 situations that she can’t fight her way out of without someone she cares about getting hurt. I think fans will be shocked at her transformation [this season].”

The theme of family running throughout this season of the show is not lost on DeLorenzo, who recognizes that Kelly’s ultimate purpose throughout this series is called into question through events that she wasn’t able to elaborate upon. However, she did tell me, “It was always about protecting and staying by the side of Ash and Pablo because they are not her family by blood but they are her family by bloodshed.

When describing the ghostbeaters, she calls Ash the “brawn”, Pablo the “heart”, and Kelly the “brains”. Later, as I sat with Arielle Carver-O’Neill, I asked what Brandy represents, to which she stated, “the hope”. “They all become very protective of Brandy and are very supportive of her journey,” Carver-O’Neill explains.

I asked her to envision a world where a fourth season is confirmed and how she’d like to see Brandy’s role expanded. Pondering this for a couple of moments, she then told me, “I’d like to see her find herself a bit more. I think just because she’s a teenager, you go through that journey at that age where you are figuring out who you are and your parents, either consciously or unconsciously, play a large role in that. For her, she only had her mum and then she found parts of herself in her dad. But she’s got a lot of growing up to do and I think that’d be really fun to explore how she goes about that.

For Santiago, the character and evolution of Pablo throughout the series has a very personal meaning for him. “As a kid, I grew up watching horror films and I always wanted to be the hero saving people from the monster and I always wanted to be the person chased by the monster. I think, in this show, I have the opportunity do that every day as Pablo and I’m one step closer to becoming the superhero I wanted to be as a kid,” he states.

As for his evolution, Santiago sees Pablo as going from a pushover in the first season to someone very important and potentially very powerful in the third season. “We’ve seen Pablo go from this naive guy [in the first season] that’s pushed through the ringer to last season and…the Necronomicon and Pablo have an undeniable relationship that will never end. As we move into this third season, Pablo sees things differently. He’s not just tormented by his visions of darkness, we see that he may not be just a sidekick but also psychic! We’re going back to his family and we callback to his roots. Perhaps it wasn’t just a coincidence that he met Ash and that he himself was always destined to be somewhat of a Jefé. I think season three is where we see all that coming to fruition. He’s not just along for the ride, he’s become an integral part of the team.

Part III of our set visit coming soon!

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