The Walking Dead spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, began production a couple of weeks ago, and the series is expected to take over AMC late summer. While we have been guessing at the full details of the series, showrunner Dave Erickson has now spilled the beans on what we can expect from the show.
He explained to THR about if the series will be a prequel to The Walking Dead, as was expected:
“We are loosely covering the period of time that [The Walking Dead’s] Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was in his coma in season one. We’re able to watch and experience the things that he missed. It’s more of a parallel story than a prequel; imagine the opening where Rick gets shot and goes in his coma — that day was probably very close to our day one. We’re playing out the idea of what was going on in the country and the world until he woke up, stepped outside, and it’s ‘Welcome to the apocalypse.’ That’s why a ‘companion piece’ has been the phrase used at the network. It’s not a prequel in the sense of ‘Better Call Saul,’ where we’re jumping back six, seven years. It does tie very specifically into the pilot of the original. ‘Prequel’ is not the right word; it’s kind of its own strange, hybrid thing. I wish I had a better word.”
Will there be any crossover with characters from The Walking Dead?
“Variations of this question have come up before, and there’s no current plan. I think logistically, it would be very difficult. There’s no plan for a crossover. I never considered seeing that in some way, shape, or form; that show has been going on for five years since the original outbreak, and we’re just in the infancy [of the outbreak]. There are no plans to do so, but I do think that’s a world that could be explored at some point. There are no plans for them to conflate, but I will say this: We are living under the same mythological umbrella. We are telling, ultimately, two parts of the larger story in this world that Robert has created. From a storytelling standpoint, I like the idea of conflating stories; I like the idea of things coming together. If that were ever to happen, it would not be for seasons to come, and there’s no current plan to do so. But I do think there’s something compelling and interesting about it, too.”
Is there a chance we could revisit the CDC, and any of the characters from there?
“I won’t say that we would never go there, but as it was scripted originally, that was really a means to writing some connective tissue for the fans. Robert very poignantly said that he likes to avoid the CDC perspective, the FEMA perspective, at least moving forward. It’s something I agree with; we’ll never tell the story from the perspective of the bureaucrats, politicians, and generals who are all trying to contain it. It will always be from the ground level looking up. There’s something far more overwhelming and beautiful about your next-door neighbor and people you know trying to understand the apocalypse. It’s really quite daunting.”
How many seasons can we expect from Fear the Walking Dead?
“About five or six. The more we dig into it, the more we’ll find. The original show is at least another few seasons based on the material that Robert has written for the comic already, and that serves as a guiding light. I like endings, and — I haven’t discussed this with Robert, but I think it’s more of a question for us to discuss when we sit down and really start breaking season two — on ‘Sons [of Anarchy]’, Kurt Sutter had a certain number in his head. He knew there was a certain number of seasons that felt right to him. I don’t have a specific set number of seasons in my head right now. I do think that the burden at a certain point, when you cross that 10-year mark … it can be pretty challenging. I’ve got some mile markers, which don’t take me that long as of yet, but I can’t really say because it’s an AMC question.”
A companion series to “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49, “Fear the Walking Dead” is executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert and showrunner David Erickson and produced by AMC Studios. Co-Executive Producer Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot, is also directing the second and third episodes. The series’ first season, consisting of six one-hour episodes, will premiere on AMC in late summer.
“‘Fear the Walking Dead’ takes us back to the earlier, more dangerous, more terrifying days of ‘The Walking Dead,’” said Kirkman. “A time when danger was lurking around every corner and the thing mostly likely to get you killed was your own ignorance of the rapidly changing world around you. The stakes are going to be higher and the ride more intense. We’re going to show people all the insanity of civilization crumbling that Rick Grimes slept through. Buckle up.”
“I could not be more thrilled to be continuing on this apocalyptic journey, dramatizing the horrific disintegration of society through the lens of a dysfunctional family. We’ve assembled a stellar cast and crew to tell our story — it’s going to be a great ride,” said Erickson.
“Fear the Walking Dead,” which is set in Los Angeles and focuses on new characters and storylines, stars Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, “Sons of Anarchy”) as Madison, Cliff Curtis (“Missing,” “Gang Related”) as Travis, Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) as Nick and Alycia Debnam-Carey (Into the Storm) as Alicia. Also joining the cast as series regulars are Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Orange is the New Black”) as Liza and Mercedes Mason (Quarantine 2: Terminal) as Ofelia.