‘The Walking Dead’ reveals new trailer after somber start to Comic-Con panel

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SAN DIEGO -- The producers of "The Walking Dead" began their panel at San Diego Comic-Con on a somber note on Friday by paying tribute to the stuntman who died last week on the show's set.

John Bernecker died July 14 after injuring himself while performing a stunt fall on the show's Georgia set.

"John passed away this week after he was injured doing something he loved...helping tell stories that excite, entertain and give people escape," executive producer Scott Gimple said at the start of the show's panel. "He helped make movies and shows for people like everybody in this room. John was someone beloved in the stunt community, someone who trained other people and helped them break into the business. He was living his dream, and he helped other people do the same thing."

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Bernecker's other credits included "Looper" and "Logan." He also did some work on the upcoming "Black Panther" film.

Gimple added that the cast and producers were unsure if they should continue with plans to hold the panel following Bernecker's death, but decided to move forward for the fans.

"We wanted to be here for you and we wanted to tell you about John and we wanted show you what we've all been working on," he said.

Gimple then unveiled the new five-minute trailer for Season 8 of "The Walking Dead," which ends with a titillating tease of an older Rick Grimes.

Executive producer Robert Kirkman said later, "It's easy to see and safe to report that this season will be very action packed and move at a very fast pace," according to audience reports.

Kirkman announced in a panel earlier in the day that he's moving toward the end of "The Walking Dead" comics, on which the show is based, according to reports.

The rest of "The Walking Dead" panel was driven by fan questions, as typical moderator and "Talking Dead" host Chris Hardwick sat out the proceedings.

Hardwick moderated the panel for spin-off "Fear the Walking Dead" prior to the panel for the mothership series.

Hardwick opened that panel with a moment of silence in honor of Bernecker, according to TV Guide.

"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, October 22.

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