With AMC's Fear The Walking Dead in the midst of its fourth season and fresh off the exit of series lead Kim Dickens, the show has returned to Comic-Con International in San Diego -- specifically, the massive and infamous Hall H -- for a Friday midday panel highlighting the latest in the west coast-set Walking Dead spinoff series. Cast members Colman Domingo, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Danay Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman, along with executive producers Andrew Chambliss, Ian Goldberg, Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert, were on hand to discuss the series and clue fans in on what's to come. CBR is there live, so keep hitting refresh for the latest details.
The panel opened with a lively blooper reel set to "Whoomp! There It Is." The biggest takeway is that Lennie James isn't qute as good with a stick as Morgan Jones. Also, there's nothing quite so pure as zombie bloopers.
After moderator Yvette Nicole Brown was introduced, a 3-4 mid-season trailer rolled and gave us a sneak peek at what to expect in the last half of Season 4. The entire cast returns to battle with a new problem to the Walking Dead franchise -- a tornado. That storm will dominate the first half of the season by all accounts. Walkers are an even bigger problem when they're literally being blown at the cast. The survivors are still on decent if troubled terms with each other, much of it centered around Charlie, Lucia, Alicia, Naomi and Althea. At some point they may get separated given Alicia's line, "We have to find them." There are new cast members that show up that will appear in the back half of the season inluding comedy queen Mo Collins as well as Aaron Stanford, Stephen Henderson and Daryl Chill Mitchell as the first person we've seen in TWD universe in a wheelchair. The tone was frightening and frenetic, but also very, very funny.
When asked about his goals for the second half of the season, Dave Alpert said, "There's a little program called Pete and Pete the gentleman said (they went for) sad, funny, strange, beautiful, so we checked all those boxes and we added scary and screwed up."
Producers also discussed the characters' lack of home base and the constant fear and anxiety that provides when the safety and security of home is lacking.
Speaking about Morgan, Lennie James shared a surprising insight into Morgan's journey in Season 4:
I am actually, genuinely most excited about the fans seeing Morgan going to the toilet... also there are new challenges coming up for Morgan in the second half (revolving around) where he belongs and if he belongs.
As for Strand, at some point he winds up in a mansion taking advantage of a killer wine cellar and Coleman Domingo explained that Strand still feels he belongs some place palatial, so the mansion serves as a place for him to meditate on his future.
Danay Garcia shared a story about needing temporary checks and going to a bank in her costume and makeup:
...it's my normal bank and I show my ID and the lady said that's not you. No it's me, this is not real. I'm covered kind of in blood, and I put my hair up... (but) the lady doens't recognize who I am... and she said, 'I need to call my supervisor.'
Eventually the woman asked what show she was on and when Garcia answered "Fear The Walking Dead," the woman responded, "That's in Georgia."
Yvette Nicole Brown moved on to Garrett Dillahunt and Jenna Elfman to ask them about the breakout love story between Naomi and John Dorie that turned out to be one of the franchise's most popular love stories:
I love what we create together, I ship us myself. That's weird to say. I think this broken love story in this home of the apocalypse is an important one and his unconditional love is so healing that anyone comes into his proximity heals and improves... and I think when I wash up literally in his cabin and his care and sweetness that's so inherent in his (personality) as an artist I flourish on set (working with him) every day... There's so much love here and with Ian and Andrew and Scott and Greg and Garrett and Mikey that I felt safe. And when you feel safe, youcan expand and grow... I think a love story in this apocalyptic territory is an important story to tell.
As for what he wants from John Dorie in the future, Garrett Dillahunt said (aside from wishing he could do a Lone Wolf and Cub type story where he got to carry a baby on his back, "We don't know much about John's past, we haven't met his family, did he have a wife? I think it'd be fun to explore that as time goes on."
Alycia Debnam Carey will receive a capsule episode dedicated solely to her that will revolved someone around the huge storm that seems to dominate the first half of the season.
That was the most reoward episode of television ever... It' s a full episode basically with Alicia... She's loves her mother and her brother, she's the only Clark left... I've been waiting for a chance to see her on her own and how she's gonna get the chance to deal with this all this... can she keep going? Is she going to be more like her mother? Is she going to fill those shoes? ...really we've already seen her in dark place and it's only going to get worse.
Gale Anne Hurd also had some choice words about Alexa Nisenson's Charlie and what to expect from her relationship with the rest of the cast:
Let's not forget that Charlie was the mole inside the stadium for the Vultures and was responsible for Nick's death. Are they going to embrace Madison's philosophy or are they going to be essentially in it for themselves and keep people out?
When asked about whether or not there would be a new antagonist this season, Andrew Chambliss was cryptic, but also not: "We can tell you there is one... We may have gotten a glimpse of an antagonist in the trailer and that person (or people) may or may not know our characters very well." Unfortunately the trailer did not show any footage of an alive Madison or Daniel Salazar, so don't get your hopes up.
The Q&A session also yielded some very interesting tidbits:
Coleman Domingo directed an episode that revolves around Jenna Elfman, Lennie Jones and Maggie Grace.
Alycia Debnam Carey thinks Lexa from The 100 would win in a fight between her and Alicia no contest.
Scott Gimple said that he really wanted to more crossover between Fear and TWD.
Someone asked whether or not Althea's was gay and the writers and Maggie Grace were vague enough that it might be a possibility.
Gale Anne Hurd said the meth from Breaking Bad was the source of the virus that made the walkers. It is canon!
The mid-season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead will air August 12th on AMC.