By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Monday, June 20, 2016
"Who did Negan kill?" isn't quite as catchy as "Who killed J.R.?" 36 years ago but it's still capturing the imaginations of "The Walking Dead" fans two months after the cliffhanger happened.
We are still four months away from finding out the answer, but The Hollywood Reporter discovered that the production company actually shot 11 death scenes - one for each cast member who could potentially be killed. This way, they hope to minimize leaks.
Who could be dead? The eleven in jeopardy: Carl (Chandler Riggs), Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun).
In the comic books written by Robert Kirkman (but not always followed to a tee by the TV show), Glenn is the victim of the beating.
You have to wonder contractually how they deal with dead characters. Is the actor whose character is offed paid to NOT work so the secret is kept until October? I'll have to ask them down the road. Obviously, if, say, Yeun is suddenly cast on another TV show between now and October, that's kind of a big spoiler.
The show is so paranoid, it has even threatened legal action against "Spoiling Dead," a non-profit site specializing in breaking news about the show.
If the standard Walker Stalker conventions aren't intimate enough for you, the organizers are now offering the second "Walking Dead"-themed cruise next year.
Walker Stalker co-creator James Frazier said last year's cruise sold out in 36 hours: "It was awesome. About 2,500 were on a Norwegian cruise ship. It's not as jam packed as a regular convention. It's more intimate."
The key guest last year for the cruise was Norman Reedus, arguably the most popular actor on the show. He will return for the Feb. 3-6 cruise in 2017 from Miami, Florida to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas with Norwegian Cruise lines. Executive producer Greg Nicotero will be back as well. Other actors who are committed for the cruise: Chandler Riggs (Carl), Tom Payne (Jesus), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) and Michael Traynor (Nicholas). More names are forthcoming.
Tickets are in pre-sale mode. Frazier expects another quick sell out. Last year, 65,000 people placed their names in pre-sale. Get details here.
Since a cruise seems more claustrophobic than a convention, I asked Frazier how he convinced the actors to come on board. He said this particular Norwegian cruise ship has special private area with VIP decks, suites and dining areas for actors show don't want to be hounded by fans 24/7. (Frazier worked with Sixthman out of Atlanta to put the event together.)
So far, the fourth annual Atlanta Walker Stalker convention October 28-30 already has Reedus, Riggs, Cudlitz and Payne, as well as David Morrissey (The Governor), Michael Rooker (Merle), Emily Kinney (Beth), Lennie James (Morgan), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Ross Marquand (Aaron), IronE Singleton (T-Dog), Tyler James Williams (Noah), Alexandra Breckenridge (Jessie), Tovah Feldshuh (Deanna), Austin Nichols (Spencer), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel) and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob). It will be held again at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Frazier said he is trying to get "Talking Dead' host Chris Hardwick to do a comedy show as well. And he's working on Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan.
Cast members from the "The Walking Dead" are also scheduled to come to Orlando for a one-day charity event Sept. 17 along with actors from "Flash" and "Arrow" to sign autographs and raise money for the One Orlando fund to help victims of the Orlando mass shooting earlier this month.
Frazier, an Orlando native who now lives in Nashville, hopes to raise $500,000.
My colleague Yvonne Zusel broke the news last week that Nicotero and Reedus are opening a restaurant in Senoia, where "The Walking Dead" is shot.
Called Nic and Norman's, it will open soon on 20 Main Street. It won't be zombie themed.
Fox 5 said the collaborators "decked out the restaurant in a style more suited to a 1930s speakeasy. The menu includes gourmet burgers, steaks and seafood."