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COMIC-CON 2010: 'Walking Dead' producers promise George Romero-esque bloodshed

July 23, 2010 |  4:18 pm

The producers of "The Walking Dead," AMC's new zombie series with special effects from F/X demigod and Comic-Con hero Greg Nicotero, spiced their convention panel Friday with the premiere of a five-minute promotional reel. It was stocked high with blood and rotting flesh -- but the creators say they wanted to show more.

"We had to cut back on this reel because it's a family convention," producer Gale Anne Hurd explained to the crowd.

Producer Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") enthusiastically added that during one violent scene, "There's a big George Romero splat of blood" that couldn't be shown in the preview.

The creators insist, in fact, that they're "dedicated to making this as authentic as we can" -- although how authentic a series can be when its subject is a "zombie apocalypse" might make an interesting subject for debate. 

When the moderator asked whether the clip needed any setup, Darabont shot back, "It's about zombies" and cued the film.  

Based on a popular comic-book series by Robert Kirkman, "Walking Dead" stars British actor Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, a cop who becomes a leader of human desperadoes as the zombies close in.

Costar Sarah Wayne Callies ("Prison Break") drew some gasps when she said that prior to being cast, she'd never actually read a comic book but has since become a fan. "Greg Nicotero has ruined my life," she said, casting a glance toward the makeup and effects pioneer.

But to the cast and crew, the real horror may have come from the sizzling temperatures in Atlanta, where the series is shot.

"Our asses have been kicked by this heat," Darabont said, adding that he wished the state of California had passed tax credits that would have allowed the production to take place in that state. 

AMC has apparently not posted the "Walking Dead" trailer yet, but you can access the series' website here.

-- Scott Collins (follow me on Twitter @scottcollinsLAT)