Fear The Walking Dead returns to AMC on April 15, and it’s the most anticipated new season of the show yet — due to the news that Lennie James’ Morgan Jones will cross over from the original The Walking Dead series to its spinoff, following the initial notion that the shows would remain separate.
It’s not yet known exactly what will bring Morgan into contact with the cast of Fear The Walking Dead, or where it all fits into the timeline of the two shows. But fans will look for new insight from the show’s stars and producers with the Fear The Walking Dead panel at WonderCon, happening Saturday afternoon at the Anaheim Convention Center.
CBR is there live, so keep hitting refresh for the latest updates. Be advised, there are minor spoilers for Season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead below.
The panel opened with never-before-seen trailer for Season 4. Alycia Debnam Carey’s Alicia survived the dam explosion and is partnered with Jenna Elfman’s Naomi as they two explore an abandoned amusement park. Madison and Nick are seen tending crops in what appears to be a community before Nick fights some walkers. Madison and her family are shown together and happy at all different points during the trailer, as are new additions Garrett Dillahunt (a kickass sharpshooter) and Maggie Grace, both of whom look to be leaning toward villainous characterizations. And finally, Morgan shows up looking very much like he just left a conflict behind him. He’s got his stick and he uses it to teach Nick a few lessons in a very, very gratifying fight scene that Nick loses immediately. You will laugh and cheer at this when you see it.
Kim Dickens could not appear due to filming, but she filmed a message of thanks and welcome before driving off to “take care of the zombies.”
Panelists included producersAndrew Chambliss, Scott Gimple, Ian Goldberg, Greg Nicotero and actors Coleman Domingo (Strand), Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia), Maggie Grace (Althea), Garrett Dillahunt (John), Lennie James (Morgan), Danay Garcia (Luciana) and Jenna Elfman (Naomie).
When asked what it was like deciding to bring Morgan to Fear the Walking Dead, showrunner Ian Goldberg explained their process:
Well, we have all been fans of Morgan from The Walking Dead. We started this season with an idea, an emotional journey that would [honor these characters], and take them to new emotional places. It lined up in a way that it was undeniable that he should’ve been part of the story.
Moderator Chris Hardwick asked Coleman Domingo how his character’s evolved over the last three seasons and Domingo was optimistic that Strand was finally evolving:
I’ve always said that Victor strand has always been a symbol of deconstructing capitalism . He was the man with the plan and then his plans started crumbilng… And at the end of last season I thought it was very symbolic that he was trying… This season has offered him a new possibility to be a part of something, whether it’s building a community or not just being [only on Victor Strand’s] side.
As for Alicia, Alycia Debnam-Carey pointed out that her character was exhausted by being the capable, trustworthy sibling all the time and that we could expect to see her forge her own path some more this season. How that will manifest remains to be seen, but it seems likely that we could see Alycia finally get into some trouble.
As for Morgan, Lennie James was very excited to tread new ground with the character he’s played for nearly a decade.
I think one of the things that’s been really enjoyable is that the lines do get blurred [when it comes to morality]. It’s a time now when Morgan’s existing and he’s not friend of rick confidant of Carol buddy of the guy who’s got the tiger. But he’s now in a place where — he has no history in Fear and with the people of Fear and he gets to decide who he is now and that’s really exciting.
When asked about her new character, Althea, Maggie Grace was exhausted from shooting until 3am in Austin the night before, but she could still barely contain her excitement — no one else on the panel could, either.
Maggie Grace: I love her. She’s unusually capable, she has a real agenda, a transactional side, a soulful side —
Ian Goldberg: She’s someone who’s kind of thriving in the apocalypse in a way we haven’t seen [in The Walking Dead universe]
Scott Gimple: Part of why Althea is able to survive so well after the apocalypse has to do with who she was before the apocalypse.She hasn’t changed that much… She is uniquely qualified to be in the apocalypse…
Jenna Elfman: She has the best car!
Speaking of Jenna Elfman, her character Naomi has a lot of baggage she’s bringing to the table this season (not that that doesn’t apply to everyone):
Like a big ol’ punch in the face these characters are thrown face first in to their own personal character dilemma when faced with the isolation vs. community struggle. She’s a survivor, but she’s in trauma, she’s in a heavy trauma… She needs a community, but there’s a lot of liability in a community… She’s skittish.
She’s also trying to do as many of her own stunts as she can given her history as a professional dancer, but she did mention that that kind of work along with the emotional labor and long hours make this show her hardest job to date. She takes a lot of epsom salt baths to deal with the side effects.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 premiers Sunday, April 15th immediately following the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead.
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