EW’s Whitney Pastorek wasn’t the only Comic-Con-by-way-of-Los-Angeles attendee stuck in traffic due to a fiery 18-wheeler turnover on the 405 the morning, but so was NBC’s new ‘King’: Ian McShane. The fictional ruler (Ben Silverman still has his gig) missed the panel for Kings, a modern re-imagining of the classic story of David and Goliath. In a Q+A that followed a 20-minute featurette shown to several hundred fans, creator Michael Green pulled out a piece of paper and read a (faux?) note from former Deadwood star McShane: “If those goddamn c—suckers don’t get off the road, I’ll slit their goddamn throats…” (Big laughs from crowd.) Luckily, McShane’s character in Kings is a bit more composed.

Heroes‘ Greg Grunberg moderated the panel, which also included director Francis Lawrence, Erwin Stoff, and stars Chris Egan, Susanna Thompson (pictured), Sebastian Stan (pictured) and Allison Miller. Among the details revealed: Lawrence only had a budget of around 11k to make the pilot, which was shot and takes place in New York City (Grunberg joked that’s the craft-service budget for an average Heroes episode); Lawrence and Stoff had been working on a classic D+G film at Universal; Kings is the first pilot script Lawrence has ever read at the request of Stoff; and working with McShane, according to Egan, is like working with “a puppy.”

The featurette and cast were well received by the audience, who later asked intelligent questions, including one about the religious undertone of the series. “For me, it’s a heroes story,” said Green. “I’m really interested in that. It’s pretty far from preaching.” Kings is set to air on NBC in February.

addCredit(“Kings: Eric Liebowitz”)

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