2:33pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comic-Con 2012 Video: 'The Walking Dead' Season 3 Trailer, Premiere Date and More
The "Ricktatorship" will resume on Oct. 14.
For the second year running, AMC's The Walking Dead used its Comic-Con platform to debut the first trailer and announce the premiere date for its upcoming new season.
Expanding to its biggest season to date with 16 episodes, the creators revealed Season 3 will launch Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. In addition, the third season will launch internationally the following day via Fox International.
After its bloody second season, the zombie drama based on the comic series created by Robert Kirkman is adding a pair of new characters -- hero Michonne (Treme's Danai Gurira) and villain The Governor (David Morrissey) -- who are both featured prominently in the third-season trailer, which was also unspooled to screaming fans inside Hall H, with fans screaming at the sight of Michael Rooker's Merle.
"He's finding himself needed and appreciated and he'd fight to the death for these people," co-star Norman Reedus says of Daryl's progression and a possible confrontation that's likely to come with his brother. "He's growing up, and I love playing him."
Comic creator and exec producer Robert Kirkman, meanwhile, noted that Daryl's backstory won't really be explored as the show doesn't like to look back and instead plugged the Activision video game in which gamers can play as the popular redneck. Also not likely to happen: Daryl appearing in the long-running comics that this week hit its 100th issue with a bloody death.
Added co-star Steven Yeun of Glen's budding romance with Maggie (Lauren Cohan): "Third season is manning up and doing what he's supposed to be doing."
Cohan, meanwhile, noted that Maggie is lucky and still has more family left than anybody else does, with protecting her inner circle her top prority. "Maggie and Glen are super tight right now," she says.
Newcomer Gurira noted she's been embraced by the cast and has enjoyed learning to use a katana sword, while Morrissey said he came into the show as a fan. "When the opportunity came to work on the show, I was very excited," he says, noting that he'd always wanted to come to Comic-Con.
Star Andrew Lincoln said Rick this season will be in a place where he's in a place similar to what can be found in The Road, where he's losing his humanity and "isolating" himself from the group in order to protect his marraige. "It's an interesting place to start the season," he says. "This season is about him realizing that he does need other people to survive."
Sarah Wayne Callies had the last word during the entertaining panel, noting that the right man came out on top in the battle between Rick and Shane. "I think Lori did everything she could to handle Shane," she says. "She didn't tell Rick to kill him, she told him to watch his back, and she was right -- and the right man ended up winning that fight."
So where does Season 3 pick up now that Andrea and Michonne have been separated? How do Rick and the gang feel about discovering the prison? Which characters encounter The Governor first? Watch the Season 3 trailer below to find out.
Stay tuned to THR's The Live Feed blog for more coverage from San Diego's Comic-Con.