The Walking Dead Spoiler Bomb – new season, new showrunner, and what we learnt from PaleyFest


There are now only five episodes left of The Walking Dead’s third season – but production is already gearing up to begin on series four of the hit zombie show on May 6th. As well as a new season, we’re also getting a new showrunner: current showrunner Glen Mazzara decided to depart at the end of 2012 following “a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward.”  AMC officially announced on Wednesday that Scott Gimple will now helm the show.

Executive Producer and comic creator Robert Kirkman said “Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of season two. He’s contributed to guiding this show in a substantial way that has resulted in a lot of the key scenes and storylines fans have dubbed signature moments of ‘The Walking Dead.’ I am thrilled to begin work on a brand new season of “The Walking Dead’ with Scott at the helm, and I truly believe we could be embarking on what will be the best season of this show yet.” Gimple previously wrote 3×06’s Hounded and 2×07’s Pretty Much Dead Already aka the one with the amazing Sophia-coming-out-the-barn scene. The Walking Dead has now had three different showrunners over four seasons.

Friday night saw The Walking Dead panel at the 2013 PaleyFest, moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. Fans queued for two hours to see the cast and crew talk about the show, and were rewarded with a sneak peek of the upcoming episode ‘Clear’.  There were a lot of ‘If Daryl dies, we riot!’ t-shirt wearers in attendance. Asked about his popularity among the fans, Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show, humbly talked instead about his co-stars. “I watch them grow and I watch myself grow. It’s one of those acting things where like I’ll be in a scene with her or with him and I’ll say should I try this? And they’ll go ‘yeah’ and I’ll believe them and I’ll trust them. Everyone wants everyone to just kill it.’ During the panel and red carpet the cast and crew let several things slip (moderate spoilers ahead!).

Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, revealed that Rick wont be in crazy town for long. “I think you’ll see in the next episode a turning point happens and he realizes his responsibilities. And hopefully he’ll come back from the brink. But certainly since the death of Lori and the pressure imposed by The Governor, he is in a state of shock, grief, and stress, and he has had a breakdown. It’s tough times for Rick, but it’s always tough times for him, isn’t it? He never gets a day off, this guy.” He also admits Carl had a point, when questioning his ability to lead the group of survivors “I have been making some terrible calls. So, you know, bless him. Parenting in the apocalypse.” Andrea, meanwhile, no longer has any romantic feelings for The Governor.  Actress Laurie Holden says “I think she thinks The Governor is disgusting at this point. She didn’t sleep with him because she was having a weak moment. She slept with him because she had every intention of doing what Carol suggested. But it’s not easy to just slit someone’s throat when they’re sleeping. She doesn’t have all the information. She doesn’t know about Maggie, but at this point it doesn’t matter. He’s gross to her.” Holden also says that this seasons finale is the opposite to last seasons in every way.

Other highlights include Andrew Lincoln having no idea about the ‘Stuff and Things’ internet memes, Steven Yeun (Glenn) stating that “In this perfect world what would happen is that the Governor would be dead and he would be happy with Maggie in a field full of food,” and Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln collapsing into giggles when Hardwick reffered to Carol’s advice to Andrea to murder the Governor as ”creepy vagina warfare.”

As for Season 4, there’s going to be more character development, and less shootouts.  “I think there may be a wee bit less of the run and gun. And [we’ll] get a little more into some of our characters,” Executive Producer Greg Nicotero explained.
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