The cast and crew of ‘The Walking Dead’ reunited at San Diego Comic-Con, where their biggest priority was paying tribute to their beloved stuntman, John Bernecker.
The tribute to John Bernecker started before the Fear The Walking Dead panel in Hall H, when moderator Chris Hardwick asked fans for a moment of silence in his honor. Chris also told fans that the cast and crew of The Walking Dead would be moderating their own panel, which began with Scott M. Gimple saying a few kind words about John. “John was a stunt performer. You’ve probably seen his work before, you just didn’t know it,” Scott told the somber crowd. He talked about how John worked on so many huge projects like The Hunger Games and the upcoming Black Panther, too. “John passed away this week after he was injured doing something he loved: helping tell stories that excite, entertain and help people escape.”
The cast stayed silent as Scott spoke so kindly about the stuntman they worked with for so long, which only added to the emotional tribute. Scott added, “John was someone beloved in the stunt community” who was “living his dream” when he died. Scott also shared that the cast was not sure they should come to comic-con following the tragedy. “We didn’t really know if we should do this panel today, but we wanted to be here for you and we wanted to tell you about John.” This led into the trailer reveal for season eight, with Scott saying they really wanted to show everyone what they had been working so hard on with John before he passed.
John was killed after a stunt went wrong on the set of The Walking Dead in Atlanta, Georgia on July 12. The seasoned stuntman was working with actor Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight on the show, when the accident occurred. John reportedly fell off of a balcony and down 22 feet to the concrete floor, missing the safety pad by just inches. The tragedy rocked the cast and crew of the series, which is currently working on it’s eighth season, and temporarily stopped the show’s production. San Diego Comic-Con was the first time the cast’s first public appearance, allowing them to honor their fallen comrade properly with the heartfelt tribute.
John’s family, friends and loved ones remain in our thoughts during this difficult time. HollywoodLifers — Please leave your kind words and condolences for John’s family in the comments below.