#SDCC15: More about The Walking Dead Season 6 from the Cast and Crew


As soon as our press ops were over for “The Walking Dead” at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, we filed a preliminary report to let you know about the main thing we horror fans watch the show for: the zombies!  And this year’s 90-minute Season 6 premiere promises to give us more at one time than ever in the show’s history.

We also shared what exec producer/director/special effects make-up supervisor Greg Nicotero told us about the look of the Walkers in S6 and broke the news that two new guest stars we can look forward to are Ethan Embry (Late Phases, Cheap Thrills) and Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”).

But there was a whole lot more we gleaned during our time with co-stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs, Michael Cudlitz, Lennie James, and Sonequa Martin-Green along with executive producer/howrunner Scott M. Gimple, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer David Alpert, and the aforementioned Nicotero.


Cudlitz said in Season 6 our survivors make the “adjustment from being on the road to a safe environment.” Martin-Green echoed that, saying they’ve “gone from fighting to survive together… now they each have their own identities to create… their own separate space.” It’s a time of “reinvention and acclimation.” Sasha experiences a “period of healing and restoration.” Considering “how low [she] went,” how can she move forward and begin “going back to life”?

Alpert adds that “before, privacy meant death; now you can step back and reflect.”

We wondered what the opening moments of Episode 6.01 might be like, and Michael said we’re “at a moment of conflict.”

Then we shifted to the tiresome question of “Richonne” (yes, they have shippers), and thankfully showrunner Gimple doesn’t seem particularly interested in going in that direction. He said they “already have an intimate relationship; [they’ve] done things that are familial on a deep, deep friendship [level]. Where that goes, who knows?”

Reedus indicates Daryl is nowhere near ready to cozy up to the residents of Alexandria. He’s still on the journey to “find the doorknob” to open the door to new relationships. Life is “always putting a carrot in front of him and then yanking it away.” He’s still that “go back to the woods guy.”

Lennie James was thoughtful about Morgan’s role this season. He’s “still getting to know Morgan,” both for the show and for himself playing the character. He’s “excited that he is going to stir things up by taking a passive position… Morgan, like everyone else, is trying to function in this world.” All of the characters are “the sum of their experience.”

Before Gimple was whisked away (it was a busy press room!), we wanted to know his mission statement for Season 6. “With great power comes great responsibility,” he intoned. The characters “know how to survive, [but] what next? Do they have a responsibility to the future? To these people? This place?”

Yeun couldn’t have been happier to be back in San Diego for Comic-Con. He credited the show’s continuing success to a “perfect storm of great people, creative people, amazing bosses.” He “loves being able to play a three-dimensional Asian character” in such a high-profile way.

For her part, Gurira laughed off the fans who want to see her character get together with Lincoln’s Rick: “People [just] want Michonne to get some! It’s cool and shows there’s a palpable friendship,” which is what Michonne “treasures about him… he challenges her [and her attitudes] … she became more humble because of it.” Gale chimed in with a yeah, but “at the end of last season the tables were turned. She basically had to knock him out.”

EP Hurd also clued us in on the biggest threat this year, which is the “scope of the Walkers… they are vulnerable and have teamed up with people who don’t know how to survive… trying to protect people who are not competent puts them in danger.”

Regular viewers recall that Morgan and Michonne previously met in the acclaimed Episode 3.12, “Clear,” so we wondered how their reunion might go. Danai said she was “originally not impressed by Morgan… she didn’t like him” so she’s wary.

From what Yeun says, they should all be wary: “Each character take their own cues… it’s still a collective, but you find people within the walls who were weakened.” They’ll face “Walkers as a threat… people as a threat, but ultimately it’s the Wild West… [with] no resources, the reset button has been pushed.” There are “so many things in play at the same time.” It’s about “how lines blur and how black & white they are.”

Hurd says it succinctly, “Ignorance is deadly.” She also elaborates a bit on how our group are (or aren’t) blending in: “Each member has a different theory, a different approach… Carol infiltrated…. Rich said just accept what we’re doing.”

And then, thanks to a persistent person at our table, we got to hear from Lincoln about Rick putting the moves on our Machete Mama (equal time for everyone!), and he said he loves how they have “a jokiness, a gallows humor between them.” He called her “the arched eyebrow” who keeps him in line. [We’re taking that as another “no” vote for “Richonne.”]

In Part 1 of our “TWD” report from SDCC, we described the zombies, and Nicotero also told us a bit more about how they’ve evolved. They’re pretty rotted now, yes, but a primary rule is, “They can’t be a ‘Harryhausen.’ No walking skeleton… it has to be muscular but exposed.”


McBride (who was wearing a t-shirt with the face of The Walking Dead comic creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman, who had to miss the SDCC this year for minor throat surgery) caught us up on Carol: “She’s still making cookies… multi-tasking!” She’s staying undercover to “find out where the vulnerabilities are. She’s the eyeballs for Rick.” Her duality is “both equal sides of the same coin… both as dangerous and both as necessary… it’s beautiful and complicated, but so simple… she’s adaptable… one of her weapons is adaptability.”

As for how Carol might respond to Morgan? She says it’s going to be “interesting to see… how he’s going to do with these people. ‘Life is precious?’ What is he talking about?… not a life that’s getting ready to kill you.”

Should the locals worry about Rick seizing control of Alexandria? “People are probably quite concerned about Rick…,” Lincoln warns.  “He may not want control, but… he’s in a place now where he’s not willing to compromise. He does something where his leadership is questioned severely this first half of the season.”

Nicotero points out that if “the Alexandrians had their s–t together… were a lot more on point,” things could have been so different.

But alas, as Lincoln says, “There’s a point at which if they walked into the community, were taken in, and [they] had their s–t together, Rick would have been like, ‘Yes, I’ll be your chief of police. I’ll be your general.’ And he’d be more than happy.” But now it’s “them and us,” the theme of the season. Certain people are “positioning themselves as ‘us,’ and ‘they’ will always remain ‘them’… that’s going to cause conflict within the community and maybe within the survivors, the family itself.”

NO, not the family!! Well, we know we’re bound to lose one or two members we’ve grown to love over these years when Season 6 kicks off October 11th. But at least we’ll be a little better prepared for it now thanks to all the practice we’ve had.

To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more info be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on AMC.com.




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