'The Walking Dead' NYCC panel: A look at the new season. Plus: Michael Rooker!

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Image Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Project: The Walking Dead, AMC’s mega-popular zombie apocalypse series, returning for its third season on Sunday.

The Panel: Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd, and stars Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, and Michael Rooker.

Footage Screened: Attendees got to see the first scene of the Walking Dead season premiere, a completely dialogue-free reintroduction to the characters as they quietly storm through a zombie-infested house in an attempt to find shelter.

Snap Judgment: The scene seemed to carry forward the momentum of the final episodes of Dead‘s second season, showing a more decisive Rick and survivors who have begun to act like more like a military unit (and less like moaning therapy cases.)

The Big Revelations: Much has been made of the apparent changes made in the character of The Governor for the TV show, but Morrissey clearly identified his interpretation of the character as somewhere between the character seen in the prequel book Rise of the Governor and the original Dead comic. Plot details for the season were scarce, but Lincoln described Rick’s arc in extremely straightforward terms: “I’m going to the dark side this season. I go crazy.” Also, gorehounds rejoice: Apparently, there are more zombie kills in the season premiere than in the entire first season of the show. And if you’re a gorehound who enjoys adolescent romance, you can also rejoice: Chandler Riggs hinted at a potential flirtation between 13-year-old Carl and Herschel’s 17-year-old daughter, Beth.

Robert Kirkman’s Comment on the Ongoing Feud Between AMC and Dish Network: “Screw Dish!”

The Weapons That The Cast Would Prefer To Have in a Zombie Apocalypse: Andrew Lincoln: Flamethrower. Chandler Riggs: A chainsaw-gun Lancer from Gears of War. Norman Reedus: A bazooka, or maybe Lucy Liu. Danai Gurira: A back-up katana. David Morrissey: Michael Rooker. And Rooker himself would prefer a bazooka arm, although he noted that the crowd was too young for bazookas and amended his choice by asking for a rocket launcher. Michael Rooker!

Most Surprising Revelation by Someone Not On the Panel: A woman told Andrew Lincoln that her mom had a tattoo of his face on her leg. The mother happened to be there, and Lincoln and Reedus both popped down for a look. Said Rooker: “I don’t even wanna see it, if I’m not on it.” Michael Rooker!

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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