Today, the cast and creators of The Walking Dead: World Beyond gathered virtually for a Comic-Con@Home panel, where they shared exciting news and details from the new series with fans and panel host Chris Hardwick. Chief among those details: the series will premiere on Sunday, October 4 at 10/9, immediately following the Season 10 Finale of The Walking Dead.
Additionally, they shared the Season 1 Comic-Con Trailer, giving fans an extended look at what to expect when the series premieres.
Watch the Trailer for World Beyond:
Following the trailer, The Walking Dead Chief Creative Officer Scott M. Gimple, Showrunner Matt Negrete, plus stars Aliyah Royale (Iris), Alexa Mansour (Hope), Nicolas Cantu (Elton), Hal Cumpston (Silas), Nico Tortorella (Felix), Annet Mahendru (Huck), Julia Ormond (Elizabeth), and Joe Holt (Leo) broke down the show and their characters in great detail, giving fans of the TWD Universe their most in-depth look into the series yet.
When asked to give an overview of how the show relates to the broader world of TWD, Gimple said: “Rick woke up after a two-week coma to find the world had changed. Well these two sisters [Iris and Hope] don’t wake up from a coma, but they do wake up from maybe the way they were looking at life. They go out in the world and they discover a new world.”
Highlight: Where World Beyond Sits in the Larger TWD Universe
Meanwhile, Negrete delved into the mythology of the show, explaining two events that are talked about in the show and often in teasers and trailers, “The Night the Sky Fell” and “Monument Day.”
“The Night the Sky Fell… we see flashbacks to that in the pilot and it’s really dark and intense… bad things are literally falling from the sky during this. It really is a night that changes the fate of everyone involved… At the same time, this is the last time our characters experience fear in that way… because what they were doing… was going towards safety.”
Monument Day, he explained, is the day to commemorate that dark day at the time the show takes place, a decade later. “It’s really called that because because they’re thinking about the monuments of the past… also what kind of monuments they want to be for the future,” he said.
Because the show takes place 10 years after The Night the Sky Fell, aka the night of the apocalypse, that means the characters have grown up in the apocalypse, which creates an interesting dynamic Negrete told the panel. “They’re not ignorant at all. They know how walkers work… in theory, they’ve never actually done it before,” he said.
From there, the actors and creators gave fans a real taste of the show’s characters. Iris, one of the two sisters at the center of the show, “Is a fiercely loyal friend. If you need her to babysit, she’ll babysit. If you need her to tutor you, she’ll tutor you,” said Royale, who plays Iris.
On the other hand, Mansour, who plays Iris’s sister Hope, said of her character, “I don’t think they could’ve picked a name further from the truth for Hope.”
Highlight: Iris and Hope’s Relationship
While the actresses agree the sisters have an unbreakable bond, they don’t agree on walkers, or “empties” as they’re called on the new series. During the panel, Royale revealed she is terrified of walkers and shared a story of her first encounter with one. “It was my first night on set… the first night I saw one… as I opened the door, 12 of them walked out… it’s night time… I don’t know where they were going, I was mortified,” recounted Royale.
Highlight: Killing Your First Walker Isn’t Easy
As for the other characters who go on this journey, there’s Elton, played by Nicolas Cantu, who Negrete described during the panel as “the brains of the operation… he’s an old soul in a lot of ways. He thinks that the dead walking the earth is part of this extinction event essentially and that humanity has only a few years left before it dies off. And so this is his one chance to really see the world.”
Elton is a black belt in karate, and Cantu learned some of the martial art himself before filming. “I have taken up teaching these little kids how to defend themselves from the apocalypse in Elton’s dojo… I actually had to learn a lot of karate because I couldn’t get there and wave my arms and fake it,” the actor said.
But according to Hardwick, fans had questions about nothing more than Elton’s trademark plushy suit and whether it was uncomfortable. According to Cantu, “I wouldn’t say the suit itself is uncomfortable, but when you mesh the suit with 109-degree weather and empty blood just coming at you from everywhere, I could say it gets a little uncomfortable with the elements. But it provides more protection than it does discomfort because it’s… impervious to walker-bites so I’m a walking shield that looks like a teddy bear.”
Highlight: Nicolas Cantu on Elton’s Trademark Suit
When it comes to Silas, the other member of the (sort of) fearless foursome, Negrete describes him as “a loner with a secret who has this dark past.. he’s hoping to escape it… but that’s easier said than done.”
Also out on the journey with the kids are Felix and Huck. Felix is played by Tortorella, and according to Negrete, “Felix is the girl’s guardian while their father is away. He’s like a big brother to the girls and he’s also Hope’s nemesis in a few ways. She likes to act out, she likes to get in trouble, and Felix is always there to literally, as we see in the pilot, put her in the slammer.”
Tortorella said during the panel that his character is first and foremost a protector. “This community has been put together for some time. There is a wall surrounding the university and one of Felix’s main job is to teach the younger generation how to protect themselves,” he said.
For the actor, that meant lots of action, and he’s fully ready to move away from the rom-com lifestyle he’s been living and keep living that TWD action life.
Highlight: Nico Tortorella, Action Star
Negrete also talked about Huck, played by Mahendru, “Felix’s partner in crime and Hope’s mentor… Huck feels a little responsible maybe for Hope being so out there.”
Mahendru also shed a little light on Huck’s backstory, saying “Huck spent a lot of time alone in the wilderness so she’s very excited to join a team of people.”
Additionally, the panel gave some info on the most mysterious character of the show: Elizabeth, played by Julia Ormond, who she described as “a high-up figure in a soon-to-be-discovered new community, a quite authoritarian community.”
That new community is the CRM of course, the one that took Rick Grimes away in a helicopter. When Hardwick tried to get Rick’s whereabouts out of Ormond, she had her answer ready. “If Elizabeth knows where Rick is, I’m not sure that she would tell you,” she said. “And I, Julia, am not going to say anything, because I’d like to keep my job.”
Finally, Gimple provided some context for that mysterious organization that Rick flew off with more than a decade before The Walking Dead: World Beyond took place, promising more information in the near future. “It’s a huge part of the show. We find out a great deal about them,” he said.
Highlight: Who Took Rick Grimes?
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