Hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown, the panel began with a blooper reel, before a trailer for the new season. On hand for the panel were cast members Colman Domingo, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Danay Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman, as well as Executive Producers and Showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, Executive Producers Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero, and Co-Executive Producer and Director Michael Satrazemis.
The trailer was all kinds of exciting, showing that a damn Zombie-nado is on its way, as the survivors not only have to survive against the threat of walkers, but nasty weather that literally sends the undead flying through the air.
The group seems fractured, as the storm seems to drive a wedge through them and have an affect on their walkies. There are also a few new faces, including Aaron Stanford and Mo Collins. According to Goldberg, they'll bring "humor," "hope" and some will, of course, also "take away that hope." The show will also introduce its first cast member in a wheelchair when it returns.
While they didn't get specific about upcoming adversaries, the showrunners also teased that you do see a peek at this person or people in the trailer and they "have insights into [the main group] they don't even know yet." Goldberg said another state will also "be explored" near the end of the season.
The second half of the season premiere airs on August 12. Keep reading for more takeaways from the panel!
Lennie James went straight from filming "The Walking Dead" to "Fear the Walking Dead," with the actor saying he basically only had "four days" between the shows. But, "the alternative is not working," so he'd much prefer all the action. James also teased "new challenges coming up about where he belongs and if he belongs" for his character.
Comic creator Kirkman also talked about Morgan's evolution and how proud he is of the character. "The character has lived so far beyond where I took him in the comic book series," he explained. "The writers have been building this character and taking him to places I could have never foreseen, built him into something that is absolutely amazing and overshadows what I did with him in the comic that I find really gratifying."
The showrunners also said they'd love to have another "Walking Dead" character to cross over, but had no details at this point. Gimple added, "Things are going to change on 'The Walking Dead,' our windows together will be brief," teasing the two shows' timelines.
Big Episode for Alicia
Debnam-Carey teased a capsule episode for her character, after the deaths of her entire family.
"She's also the only person left from the pilot, I've been waiting for a chance to see her on her own and how she's going to deal with this," she teased. "Can she keep going and if she can, is she going to be more like her mother? Is she going to be better or worse? Will she come back from that darkness? It's going to get worse before it gets better."
"We poured our hearts into that episode and it's coming up soon," she added.
A fan also asked who'd win in a fight, her character Lexa from "The 100" or Alicia. Debnay-Carey's answer: "Alicia Clark has stepped up, but Lexa's been trained for it. I'm gonna go, it's Lexa I think."
No Home Base
The group has no home when the show returns, with the hotel and the stadium gone.
"Once you lose that, there's constant threat and physical danger at every turn," said Alpert. "I think it's going to be really exciting and scary in the second half"
Waterlogged on Set
The tornado was certainly a unique experience to film, as Debnam-Carey pointed out.
"I swear you have a vendetta against me. Every single episode I'm in water, a basement, a hurricane somewhere," she said. "It's funny because, when I read it, I'd already done a storm movie before with Sarah Wayne Callies, so when I read it, I was like, 'Oh lord, this is going to be a whole thing.'
"It's fun when you read it on paper, but the reality, it is uncomfortable to say the least," she said of water shoots. "It's just a lot. There are 100 MPH wind fans, awkward trying to get out of wet jeans ... so when I read it I was like, 'It's going to be a week from hell,' but it was just fantastic."
She added that production was delayed by an actual storm in the area during filming ... and then they drove right back into the fake one.
It was also Alycia's birthday, so the Hall H crowd joined the cast in singing "Happy Birthday."
Strand's Living Large?
When we find Strand when the show returns, he'll be back to the high life.
The trailer shows him in a mansion, clearly enjoying himself. "He and some of his comrades have found a mansion. They're in recovery of some ways of past events," Domingo explained.
"Strand, in his best self, thinks he should be in the elevated state of a mansion," he added. "Strand, plus wine cellar, he's having a good time!"
Domingo will also direct an upcoming episode starring Jenna, Maggie and Lennie. "He did phenomenal," said Lennie.
Danay's Banking Troubles
Danay Garcia talked about how she went to the bank straight from set ... and it did not go well.
"It's my normal bank, and I show my ID and the lady said, 'That's not you,'" she explained. "I'm covered in blood. To look better, I put my hair up. I was like, ok, I look better. The lady doesn't recognize who I am, this is me, I'm in makeup. She was like, 'I have to call my supervisor.'"
When she said she was working on "Fear," the manager said she said the show filmed in Georgia, confusing it with parent series "The Walking Dead."
Eventually, she talked them into it, but it was definitely an ordeal.
Trusting the New Trio?
Maggie Grace said Althea may warm up a bit as time goes on. "I think, in the same way Morgan's been through a helluva lot, we haven't dug through what she's been through and it's a lot," she teased. "I think she's still doing that calculation we all do and whether or not we can risk love. We've seen how much they've gone through together and even though it's not the tribe the may have chosen, their strengths and weaknesses work together."
Elfman said she ships her character's love story with Dillahunt, who also called it "adorable.
"I think this broken love story in this home of the apocalypse is an important one," Elfman added. "His unconditional love is so healing. I think a love story in this apocalyptic territory is important to tell." Dillahunt said he's also love to see his character with "a baby on my back. I think that would be kinda fun. We don't know much about John's past, but we haven't met his family or if he had one, it would be fun to explore that as time goes on."
Hurd said, "We'll see how and if they can integrate into the group. Are they going to embrace Madison's philosophy or in it for themselves and keep people out."