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Monday, October 23, 2023

#TWD @ New York Comic Con (2023)

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Surprise! We LIVESTREAMED all #TWDUniverse news coming out of New York Comic Con! Bridget was on site while Dave reported on what was happening and received your reactions. The Spotify video  podcast and (general) audio podcast contains the condensed version of that livestream for your audible enjoyment!
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David Cameo:
Bridget Mason-Gray:


  • First thing's first, it should be known that we were able to watch The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon panel at New York Comic Con for free on Popverse thanks to Tumblr (it's available on-demand for Popverse members); however, both TWD: Daryl Dixon's season finale and all trailers/teasers for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, Orphan Black: Echoes, and even Fear The Walking Dead were not available to watch via the stream (but don't worry, read on because we've embedded them here).

  • Here is the teaser for Orphan Black: Echoes, featuring lead-actress, Krysten Ritter.
  • Here is the teaser for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, featuring Andrew Lincoln (as Rick Grimes) and Danai Gurira (as Michonne).
  • We also mention the brand new art concept design in our merch store store reflecting our discussions on TWD: Daryl Dixon that says L'espoir est Perdue (Hope is Lost) featuring a walker Daryl Dixon being guided by Carol Peletier through the desert.

  • It is then announced that the general release date for TWD: The Ones Who Live is February 2024.

  • It should also be known that, in light of the combined Screen Actors Guild of America and Writers Guild of America strikes, Norman Reedus was only able to attend due to his role as Executive Producer as a result of the deal they made with with AMC.
  • Here are the promo stills that were mentioned, provided by Insider's Kirsten Acuna, of Michonne and Rick on TWD: TOWL.
  • New cast announced for TWD:TOWL -- Major General Beale (mentioned in The Walking Dead: World Beyond) will be played by Terry O'QuinnMatthew August Jeffers will be playing Nat; Leslie-Ann Brandt will be playing Pearl Thorne. Returning cast-member from both The Walking Dead and World Beyond, Pollyanna McIntosh, will be reprising her role as Warrant Officer Anne "Jadis" Stokes.
  • Some viewers of both TWD:TOWL teasers noticed it appears as though Rick may have chopped off his hand (which would be a nod to the comic book).
  • The sneak peek to FearTWD is played and features a scene with Colman Domingo (as Victor Strand) and Kim Dickens (as Madison Clark).
  • In the midst of the actual panel conversation, which we've summarized below (read on), everyone in attendance is presented with the teaser for Season Two of what will now be called (to the consternation of everyone present in our livestream):
    The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon -- The Book of Carol.
  • We did, in fact, livestream our coverage of TWD: Daryl Dixon's season finale (something we mentioned we'd do during this livestream, which you can watch or listen to, here:

  • It appears as though Danay Garcia (who plays Luciana Galvez) will be directing, for the very first time in this series, the mideason premiere of FearTWD.

  • The panel livestream finally resumes after the audience is finally finished watching TWD: Daryl Dixon's season one finale and all the teasers that were introduced. Panel Moderator and Entertainment Weekly writer, Dalton Ross, introduces the creative team of the Daryl Dixon spin-off: Scott Gimple, David Zabel, Greg Nicotero, and Norman Reedus
    Editor's Note: as mentioned in our previous blog, the remaining descriptions have been generated with the assistance of A.I. language models that summarized the transcript from our livestream and is being minimally tweaked by your favorite human, Dave.
    • Norman Reedus is asked about the final scene with Melissa McBride, who will be a series regular for season two.
    • Daryl Dixon is faces a pivotal choice between coming home and staying with his French family. The central premise of the series is about finding home and belonging. Daryl is forming bonds and connections against his own will.
    • Season one of the show is different from the original series in terms of location, look, and music. The mission was to maintain the standards of The Walking Dead while broadening the scope. Being in France was a way to shake things up in the expanding universe of TWD. Actors and crewmembers were excited about the new setting and storyline. There were challenges in figuring out how to incorporate Daryl's character into the new environment, such as ditching his usual look with wearing a scarf and suspenders. The wardrobe, cinematography, and overall feel of the show in France were different from TWD.
    • The cast and crew in France were enthusiastic and dedicated to the show, which showed in the quality of their work. The fans in France were excited to be on set and interact with the zombies. The language barrier added an interesting element to the story, with Daryl trying to understand body language and communicate with the French characters. Filming in France allowed for a unique juxtaposition of culture and history against the backdrop of the apocalypse, which was way different from the set in Georgia due to the unique locations which allow for different storytelling opportunities.
    • The show aims to be both funny and emotionally impactful. The setting of France adds a specific and evocative atmosphere to the show. The production team took big risks and wanted to make the show feel fresh and original. The show received positive feedback for its originality and hard work. There were concerns about taking the show to France, but the cast and crew were on board. Norman Reedus played a key role in keeping the focus on shooting in France. Shooting in France was a significant step forward for the show's universe. The cast and crew wanted to do something completely different and out of their comfort zone.
    • The possibility of shooting in other locations were discussed, such as (jokingly) Costa Rica. Mont Saint Michel was kept in mind for shooting, but they never thought it would actually happen! Getting permits for shooting locations involves pitching the best version of the idea and sometimes not being able to fully achieve it. Obtaining locations in France, specifically Mont Saint Michel, required a lot of work and involved meeting with local officials. The selling point of increased tourism did not convince officials, as they felt they already had enough tourism. The experience was completely different from when they were just trying to film inside convenience stores in Georgia.
    • The appearance of the zombies on the show was designed to keep them scary and thrilling. Different zombies were created: burners, with their visible veins, and the amped-up variety, which completed their ferocious look with black contact lenses. Attention to detail was given to the latter's appearance, including the filing down of their teeth to sharp points. The design of the zombies is not just for visual appeal, but also plays a role in advancing the story. Building puppets and creating special visual effects makeup for the zombies was a fun and creative process and ensures the desired impact on the audience, in order to keep them engaged.
    • Director David Zabel was new to the universe and was constantly amazed by the scenes in the show. The goal was to make the walkers a real threat in a new and different way, while making each sequence matter, narratively speaking. Zabel also revealed that a second unit was established for the zombie scenes, directed by an (uncredited) Greg Nicotero, as he knew how to handle them. Nicotero will also be directing in Season 2.
    • Norman mentions how unique of an experience it is to be able to play the same character in a completely new world. Working with new castmembers allowed him to stretch different acting muscles. The first scene filmed of the first episode involved a big fist fight with Romain Levi (who played Stéphane Codron), which made his character feel scarier. Norman was also interested in exploring moments where his character didn't appear to have everything under control and wanted to keep Daryl as the kind of hero who doesn't know that he is a hero.
    • All the characters on the show have their moments to shine throughout the season. Season 2 will further develop and evolve the characters. The actors and the crew, including the zombie performers, were amazing. The show wanted to go back to the feel of the first season of The Walking Dead with a small group of core characters. The little moments between Norman and Clémence Poésy (who played Isabelle Carriere) in the last episodes were powerful and impactful.
    • Daniel Percival set the tone for the show and helped create its visual style. There is interconnectivity between the different Walking Dead shows happening in different cities and countries. The show has a mythology and backstory that will be explored further.
    • A question from the audience was asked about the toughest and most rewarding scenes that Norman filmed: Norman mentions the scene with co-star, Louis Puech Scigliuzzi (who played Laurent), in which he yells at him after cutting the boat loose. He also had fun filming scenes where he was beaten up. While Norman is enjoying his role on the show, he is also learning about himself and the production process as an executive producer, through attending tech scouts and zoom meetings.
    • Another audience member asks about whether he would consider cutting his hair, since Daryl's hair grew throughout the his time in The Walking Dead Universe and that it became a part of his character. Norman mentions that it was discussed, including the tragedy that befell the series Felicity and how cutting off the main character's signature curly locks caused much controversy. Norman even considered cutting his hair in Season 4 of TWD, but decided against it. Plus, his long hair looks much cooler when smattered in blood.
    • Another audience member spends his time on the mic thanking Norman for advocating against getting their cat declawed and even recommended a vet he should go to. Unfortunately, this took a lot of time to get through (to the annoyance of all in attendance) and Dalton stepped in to help him along.
    • Another question is asked about the possibility of a sequel to The Walking Dead series. Chief Content Officer, Scott Gimple, describes the possibility of TWDU converging in a narrative way.
    • Another audience member asks about a Daryl's decision (between home and home) in the season finale. Norman mentions how Daryl wouldn't be able to leave Laurent behind, whether or not walkers present.
    • The next audience question is for Norman, as well: how has it felt about growing with Daryl all these years. Norman reflects on his experience in television and being recognized by viewers. He's loved his character's development and growth on the show, learning from other characters like Rick and Hershel Greene. It's always been a joy playing Daryl and, unlike many of his castmates, he has no desire or plans to abdicate his beloved role. He acknowledges the excitement from fans and expresses gratitude for their support.
    • This is the point at which the exclusive teaser for Season 2 plays, which (again) was not able to be viewed through the livestream and embedded earlier. What only audience members in attendance received (over folks just watching the teaser, post factum) is a special pre-amble by Melissa McBride.

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