12:27pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comic-Con: 'Walking Dead' Debuts Season 6 Trailer, Sets October Return
AMC continued its annual Comic-Con tradition Friday, unveiling The Walking Dead's season six trailer and announcing its October return date. Producers also announced that Nurse Jackie Emmy winner Merritt Wever will play a character from the comic while Ethan Embry is also joining the cast (see him in the trailer below).
Season six of the zombie drama created by Robert Kirkman will return Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. with a 90-minute premiere, followed immediately by its Chris Hardwick-hosted companion, Talking Dead. The latter will launch with a special season preview on Aug. 23. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple will be back for his third season at the helm of TV's No. 1 scripted series among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic.
Season five ended when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was given the authority to execute a member of the Alexandria Safe Zone — and did so just as his long-lost friend (and now a peaceful Zen) Morgan (new series regular Lennie James) returned to witness the brutal slaying. Morgan's reappearance came after rescuing Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) from one of season six's threats: a group who call themselves the Wolves.
Watch the trailer and check below for the latest scoop from the cast and creators from the panel — which for the first time was sans Kirkman, who was at home recuperating from throat surgery.
As for what to expect from the new season, the cast and producers confirmed that the Wolves would indeed be a threat and the show would explore an "us vs. them" look at Rick's group of survivors and the residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone. Gimple also confirmed that he's currently working on a big flashback episode, while star Danai Gurira noted she'd like to see Michonne and Carol (Melissa McBride) work together, despite approaching Alexandria with completely different tactics.
Star Steven Yeun defended Glenn's decision to let Nicholas (Michael Traynor) survive — calling it a way for him to hold on to his humanity. He noted that his character and partner Maggie (the absent Lauren Cohan, who was with family) attempted to keep each other grounded.
James, who was making his Comic-Con debut with the series, noted that season six will explain where Morgan has been between his infrequent appearances on the series and what he's been up to. "Morgan and Rick have a particular kind of man love — the fact that he's gone to find Rick, who is the last person left on the planet who knows Morgan. Everyone else who knows Morgan is gone, … which is why he goes to find him. Morgan is aware of the effect Rick has had on him. … [And seeing him kill someone], there's going to be fallout."
For his part, Chandler Riggs also explained that Carl sees Alexandria as a "restart button" to live life the way life should be lived."
Sonequa Martin-Green noted that Sasha has "hit rock bottom" and will continue to struggle with PTSD. She said she hoped the character would find "healing and restoration" and a way to "respond correctly" to the death of her loved ones, including boyfriend Bob (Larry Gilliard Jr.) and brother Tyreese (Chad Coleman).
McBride also addressed Tyreese's death, saying the loss will make Carol fight harder to keep everyone safe. "Everything is fueled by the loss of people; that's why she's doing what she's doing. She can't stand around and watch people die. She's ready to pay the price … and do whatever she can to help people." The actress said Carol isn't a cold-blooded killer.
Co-star Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) also teased that his character's defining moment is yet to come, instilling fear in those attending. He joked that he'd love to see Abraham just hanging out eating cookies with Carol all day.
Lincoln also noted that his mother is actively campaigning to have Rick and Michonne have a romantic relationship — which drew massive cheers from the crowd.
Reedus said he listens to a lot of Motorhead, drinks a lot of coffee and plays a lot of Candy Crush to get into playing fan-favorite Daryl. Reedus previewed that Daryl is going up and down all the time but has found a safe place with the people of Alexandria, who gave him a job. And Daryl's place within the community, he said, will be tested in season six.
Check out the trailer below and sound off in the comments section with what you're looking forward to seeing.