AMC debuted the trailer for season seven of “The Walking Dead” at Comic-Con. Not only did it show more of fan-favorite Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but it also offered the debut of two newcomers, King Ezekiel and his pet tiger Shiva.
Yes, next season of “The Walking Dead” is going to have a tiger on it.
In the comics, Ezekiel rules over another group of survivors at a place called the Kingdom. Though “The Walking Dead” has been teasing the appearance of Ezekiel, it wasn’t certain we’d be seeing Shiva but now we finally confirmation.
But we still have a lot of questions. How was the tiger done for the show? Did the crew use a real tiger on set in Atlanta, Georgia? How much of it was CGI?
At the show’s press conference Friday afternoon, I asked show creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple about bringing the cat to life on AMC’s hit series.
First off, Kirkman let it be known that the tiger’s name is pronounced “Shee-va,” not “Shiv-ah.”
Second, Kirkman revealed a real tiger was not used for filming.
“I was asking Scott [Gimple], ‘How do we plan on doing this thing?’ He pointed out that it’s not particularly humane to have like a live tiger on set and it’s also very dangerous for the actors.”
Even though there wasn’t a real tiger used on set, Kirkman didn’t waste an opportunity to poke fun about what it would have been like if one was there.
“When we needed it to really act, we wouldn’t feed it,” joked Kirkman. “But yeah, so I was like, great! No real tiger. I can still come to set. That sounds awesome because I would not have gone to set if there had been a real tiger anywhere near set. So there’s no real tiger at all. It’s all magic.”
“It’s the dragon from ‘Game of Thrones,’ shrunk, slightly changed in proportions,” showrunner Scott Gimple interjected. “And we add …”
“Tiger lens,” Kirkman suggested.
“Yeah. It’s just a filter,” Gimple played along. “You guys don’t have that on your phones?”
Nope. But we’re game for anything combining “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.” Now, that we know Shiva isn’t a real tiger on set though, we’re far more interested in seeing the green screen and effects which go into filming those scenes.
“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m.