Friday’s portion of this year’s stay-at-home version of San Diego Comic-Con came with rewards for some patient The Walking Dead fans (premiere dates! extra episodes!), as well as an exciting new trailer for Hulu’s Helstrom and a promise from the Vikings creator about the show’s upcoming series finale. Plus, learn which iconic film heroine inspires Charlize Theron.
Great news for fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead who were left hanging when the Season 10 finale wasn’t ready to air last spring due to the coronavirus-related Hollywood shutdown: That episode, entitled “A Certain Doom,” will air at 9 p.m. on October 4. And, in a twist ending befitting a show known for its surprise cliffhangers, executive producer showrunner Angela Kang announced during the series’ SDCC panel that this is actually not the season finale because six additional episodes of season 10 will air in 2021. (Season 11, which has been pushed due to the shutdown, will air later next year).
But what exactly will happen in these upcoming episodes? AMC also released an extended clip of the season 10 finale, which gives a good deal of screen time to Beta. Actor Ryan Hurst’s de-facto leader of the Whisperers group is now coming for the show’s heroes, but he also seems to be causing strange reactions from the undead Walkers when he hides among them.
Kang reminded the panel’s moderator, The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, that Beta was once a country music star who thrived on the roar of the crowds and that he’d mentioned before that he found the Walkers’ moanings and mumblings soothing. And series executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed “A Certain Doom,” also teased that “the last five minutes of the episode just take it to a whole other place.”
Kang also said the episode gives interesting storylines for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan as well as Lauren Cohan’s returning character, Maggie. Is there a chance other characters could return? Well, actually …
“We’re working on things where we are looking at past characters,” said The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple. “Maybe not a whole series, but we’re looking at things where we can take a peek at — maybe not pre-apocalypse, but early in the apocalypse — where we’re looking at folks. So get excited about that.”
The long-delayed sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead premieres at 9 p.m. October 11 on AMC. But does it answer last season’s cliffhanger of whether Morgan (Lennie James) is OK after he was shot and left to bleed out last season?
“‘OK’ can mean a lot of different things,” executive producer and showrunner Ian Goldberg said during that show’s panel, which was also moderated by Hardwick. (Although the answer might be right in front of viewers, as James actively participated in the panel).
Goldberg and his fellow showrunner, Andrew Chambliss, also spoke of the make-up of this season, saying that the episodes will have an anthology structure. Goldberg also said that “you’ll see different shades of these characters” now that they are “living under Virginia’s rule.” (Virginia being actress Colby Minifie’s villain, who is currently holding some members of this group captive).
Gimple also teased that the season will see “a number of new characters,” including Virginia’s little sister who shows “a whole different side of her character.” He also confirmed that “not only is there a time jump but there might be time jumps” this season.
The latest spinoff for AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise, World Beyond, was pushed off the schedule this past spring, but now has a premiere date of 10 p.m. on October 4 .
Set 10 years after the zombie apocalypse happened, the series follows kids and young adults who are the first generation to have grown up amidst the unrest; however, this doesn’t necessarily make them invincible.
Showrunner and executive producer Matt Negrete explained during his show’s SDCC panel that these characters “know how Walkers work” and that they “know how to operate; they know how to kill them – but in theory. They’ve never actually done it before.”
Another interesting twist: these characters actually call the zombies Empties (Negrete said that’s a reference to a term used in one of author Robert Kirkman’s comics).
The show introduces a host of new characters, including Julia Ormond’s Elizabeth. Hardwick, who also moderated this panel, pointed out that the show’s trailer shows Ormond arriving on a black helicopter that looks similar to the one that came to take away former The Walking Dead lead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
“She’s basically a high-up figure in a soon-to-be discovered new community,” Ormond said and added that “she’s more kind of along the lines of the pragmatist character, which I think in terms of The Walking Dead often skews to maybe the sociopathic people.”
So does she know where Rick is?
“If Elizabeth knows where Rick is, I’m not sure that she would tell you,” Ormond said. “And, if Elizabeth tells you, I’m not sure that you should believe her. And I, Julia, am not going to say anything, because I’d like to keep my job.”
Gimple, who also participated in this panel, also spoke of The Civil Republic of the Midwest (or CRM), the network of survivors of the apocalypse that were introduced in TWD. He confirmed that “it’s a huge part of the show” and that “they are a very mysterious force.”
Hulu’s splashy new adaptation of the Helstrom comics hit the streaming channel on October 16. A story about the offspring of Satan, it’s certainly one of the darker stories in publisher Marvel’s library.
But showrunner and creator Paul Zbyszewski told fans during the show’s Comic-Con panel, which was moderated by IGN’s Laura Prudom, that he wanted to ground the story in a family tale of sorts.
“One of the things that I gravitated to was just this original family story,” he said of the show that stars Tom Austen as ethics professor Daimon Helstrom, Sydney Lemmon as his sister Ana and Elizabeth Marvel as their mother, Victoria, who has been institutionalized for 20 years.
He added that “one of the things we try to infuse in all the characters is that everyone has their own moral compass” and that “if there’s no emotion at its root — if there’s no morality at stake and no good and evil — then why are we telling this story?.”
Zbyszewski opened the panel with a few words about current events, specifically the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. He referenced the death of George Floyd by saying that Helstrom is a horror show, but those 8 ½ minutes of reality are more horrific before allowing actors June Carryl, Robert Wisdom, and Ariana Guerra to share their own commentary.
History’s Vikings will air the second half of its sixth, and final, season later this year and series creator Michael Hirst seems to have put a lot of thought into what will happen to Ragnar Lothbrok’s spawn and associates.
“The characters who we all — including me — have grown to love will all have their fates decided,” Hirst said at the end of his show’s Comic-Con panel, which was moderated by TV Guide magazine’s Kate Hahn. “Whether they live or die is, of course, in the hands of the gods — although I had a hand in it too. I think the conclusion of the saga is deeply satisfying. A proper and meaningful ending. And I hope all our fans will feel the same way. I tried to do justice to all my characters and I hope I succeeded.”
With credits like Mad Max: Fury Road, Aeon Flux and Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron has proven that she’s great at kicking butt and taking charge. She’s also one of the few actresses who’s known for taking on such roles. But was there any character who inspired Theron in her career?
“The first time I saw Sigourney Weaver play Ripley [in the Alien movies], it just changed everything for me; it was like the world opened up and the possibilities were just endless,” Theron told IGN’s Terri Schwartz during “Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass,” a career retrospective conversation during Friday’s portion of Comic-Con at Home.
(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
“The amount of intelligence that she brought to that role; she was completely in demand of it. She owned that world. But it wasn’t forced and it wasn’t written and it wasn’t acted. It was just lived. She was just living in that world in such an authentic way,” the Monster Oscar winner said.
In comparison, Theron said that Furiosa, the character she played in Fury Road, “was the first time that I really felt like I couldn’t even look at her as a character. She felt so real to me.” She added that “if that character can, in a small part, do what Ripley did for me as an actress — as a woman — that’s something that I’m incredibly proud of.”