Well hello walkers! I just wanted to share some news about the long awaited series, Fear the Walking Dead. According to Instagram today, Thats a wrap! Does it mean we are that much closer to the reveal? Yes it does! I only wish I were at ComicCon right now, where they will be revealing alot about the show and previews, cast members and lots of swag to give away! Maybe next year! So here goes, this is all I know about the series right now along with some preview snippets and photos. I do know that it is slated to come on in August, most likely after AMC’s Humans is over (another great AMC show btw). We will find out for sure at ComicCon
Starring Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, Sons of Anarchy), Cliff Curtis (Missing, Gang Related), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm) and Executive Produced by Dave Erickson (Marco Polo, Sons of Anarchy), Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert, Fear the Walking Dead premieres this summer, with a second season airing in 2016. Fear the Walking Dead premieres on AMC August 2015 and will be available the next day on VOD, amc.com, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Xbox.
Courtesy of EW
Before we see the characters — led by dating couple Travis (Cliff Curtis) and Madison (Kim Dickens) — kill any zombies, we will have to watch them coming to grips with comprehending the fact that the zombies even exist. EW chatted with Fear showrunner Dave Erickson to get the scoop on this unique wrinkle, as well as what else to expect from AMC’s companion show.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How would you describe the two main characters at the center of this whole thing in Madison and Travis?
DAVE ERICKSON: For Madison and Travis, the goal was to establish a strong couple. They’re not married yet: He’s divorced, her first husband passed away several years ago, and the idea is they have the quality of soul-mates. They met each other, they’re strong for each other, they compliment each other in the best way. What I love about that is that it’s taking this very fundamentally sound relationship and then seeing how the apocalypse changes that. Seeing how our personalities begin to evolve as time passes in the face of this. I think they’re very understanding of each other’s flaws, and what’s interesting is to take the normal complications that exist in a good relationship and then put them under intense strain and see how each of the characters react.
A lot of what, thematically, the show is about to me is it’s very much about identity, which is one of the reasons we chose Los Angeles as a place to set the show. It is a city of change, it’s a place where people come to either start new or to distance themselves from their pasts, and that’s the case for a lot of our characters. It’s interesting to see individually, but also interesting to see in terms of relationship and family how those established identities begin to fracture and begin to change.
How does the physical environment of L.A. play a part in making this show feel different than what we have seen down in Georgia on the original Walking Dead?
It’s denser. We’ve shot primarily in east L.A. and whenever we’re outside in that environment and you look out and see the hills that are stacked with houses, and you see the freeways — just the sense of density and population for the audience in the pilot and the first few episodes — they’re a little bit ahead of our characters. They know what’s coming and there’s that anticipation and anxiety of waiting for our family to catch up and realize what’s going on, learn the rules, learn how to survive.
I think that any time we have this sort of vibrancy and chaos of the city and we’re reminded of the fact that there are millions and millions of people surrounding our characters, and there’s that dread of, “Holy s—, a bulk of those people are about to die.” For us, it was always about the shark you don’t see in the beginning of the show, and it was trying to understand something very wrong is happening and what is it? There’s a level of paranoia, there’s a level of anxiety, there’s a very disquieting feeling initially. And we have walkers and we play to the some of the beautiful tropes of the genre, but there’s a certain psychological tension that we have in the beginning.
“In the photo above, we see Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) with her boyfriend Matt (Maestro Harrell, best known as Randy from The Wire). Just how close are Alicia and Matt, and what will happen to their relationship with the zombie apocalypse hits? We’ll have to wait to find out, but Robert Kirkman gave us some bonus intel on Alicia, who is the daughter of Kim Dickens’ Madison: “Alicia is your atypical teenage girl. She excels at school. She’s on her way to college. She’s very self-sufficient. She’s very self-reliant. She’s kind of the model student and the model child.”
But as Kirkman tells us, Alicia’s brother is far from the model child. “In the face of that, we’ve got Nick—who is played by Frank Dillane—who is pretty much a parent’s worst nightmare. He has flunked out of college, had a lot of trouble, got mixed up in some bad elements, and is definitely the problem child. And it’s exacerbated for him to be next to this perfect sister who seemingly doesn’t have anything going on in her life that is negative. But that’s not really the case, that’s just his perception. So you have these two siblings that are very much at odds with each other. They love each other because they are brother and sister, but to a certain extent it’s almost like they are each other’s worst enemies because one is screwing things up while she’s trying to achieve things and get on to the college, and the other one is seeing her as this reminder of everything that he can’t be. So it’s an interesting dynamic.”
It’s funny you mention the psychology of it, because on the regular Walking Dead you know if you see a walker, you kill it. I have to imagine the early steps of this are, “Is it murder to kill this person?”
And that’s one of the challenges: “Why are you behaving this way?” When push comes to shove, people have seen enough—I mean, we’re looking at the apocalypse through the filter of this family drama, so they’ll witness this, they’ll be confronted with people who have turned, they will be forced to contend with this. And in many ways Madison and Travis, Nick and Alicia — our core family — are slightly ahead of the game. And what’s interesting is as they come to realize more of what’s going on, there will still be neighbors, there will still be people in their lives who haven’t quite caught on yet. It’s a strange disconnect at times where, why are people not recognizing what’s going on?
It’s always an interesting scene when you’re trying to explain to a person that the world is over, and that people have come back from the dead. It’s an interesting little story navigation that Robert brilliantly ellipsed over in the comic, and I think that the download Lennie James’ character gives to Rick in the pilot of The Walking Dead is perfect. Basically, Rick has come out of his coma and Morgan’s able to say, “Hey, look, here’s what’s happened. Here’s what these things are.” We get to explore the process really by which Morgan’s character came to learn that, which I think is interesting.
We haven’t seen the actual outbreak before, so was there any process at all in terms of you having to be in communication with Robert Kirkman or anyone else in terms of the rules that you are establishing with this world?
We co-wrote the pilot, so he’s been very involved. We’re living under the same mythological umbrella, so we have to follow the rules that he laid out in the comic and in the show. So at any time if we’re in danger of veering or playing at something that’s not been established in the original, he’s all over that. We have the benefit of working with the executive producing team of the original show, so we’ve got Robert, Dave Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero. So there’s enough guidance. It’s a different look for the walkers, and Greg Nicotero was very hands-on in defining the look of our fresher zombies, for lack of a better word. We’ve decided not to veer from the rules of the original, just because I think what Robert has done works, and there’s no reason to push that particular envelope.
Although the characters and events on your show do not come from the comics, is there anything you did take from the comic that we might see?
The vibe. Thematically, what I love about the comic and what I love about the show is that it feels very grounded to me in terms of the character dynamics and the relationships. I think that’s the reason the comic and the show have been as successful as they’ve been, so that as a mile marker was very important when we started working. But in terms of story, in terms of elements, most of what I love about the comic has been used in the show. Now that you say that, I’m going to have to go back and see if I can start to find some Easter eggs and find some connective tissue.
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