The zombie drama will pick up immediately with the cliffhanger from the season four finale, a first for the series.
Season five of the zombie drama based on RobertKirkman's best-selling comics will return on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m., followed by its Chris Hardwick-hostedcompanion Talking Dead.
Showrunner Scott M. Gimple will be back for his second season at the top of AMC's ratings juggernaut, which will see The Wire alum Seth Gilliam join the cast alongside newly promoted series regulars Andrew J. West (Gareth), Alanna Masterson (Tara) and Christian Serratos(Rosita).
The series, which again has a big presence at Comic-Con including a nearby hotel decorated as Terminus — the "sanctuary" where Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group were reunited and held hostage in a rail car in the season four finale. Season five picks up immediately after Gareth unknowingly reunited Rick with nearly everyone in his group, save for Carol (Melissa McBride) and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman).
The panel opened with a parody clip featuring Rick and Glenn (Steven Yeun) beareded and playing cards, still trapped in the Terminus trailer, chowing on the remains of one of the group's members alongside with a bald Daryl (Norman Reedus) and aged Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
"Once they lost the prison and Hershel, all bets were off. They did find out that you can't come back from the things you've done," Gimple said, noting that the group is now much more formidable having done unspeakable things. "This season is going to define these characters." Gimple stopped short of confirming if the people of Terminus are cannibals but said the upcoming season will feature thebackstory of how that community was crated.
Kirkman said this season is going to be "pretty close" to the comics, with Terminus on the surface seeming like a "major departure" before the AMC show gets back on track with the events in the Image/Skybound title.
Exec producer Gale Anne Hurd also teased that season five would feature multiple locations beyond Terminus, including some "possibly" inspired by the comic book that may have a more suburban feel (THR won't spoil the comics here though). "You'll see us take some pretty big leaps with the characters and set pieces — bigger than ever," she said.
EP Dave Alpert also confirmed that Gilliam would indeed be playing Father Gabriel, a key character from the comic series, while EP and VFX mastermind Greg Nicotero also previewed the evolution of the walkers on the series, with slack jaws, and sagging skin. "There's a lot of really cool landscape we're going to explore," he said.
In the trailer, the so-called "Termites" appear to also be on a path to go to Washington in a bid to cure the outbreak, with Gareth offering them an ultimatum in order to survive at the camp, with Bob's life seemingly hanging in the balance.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter