As we slowly shamble toward its premiere, there is plenty of Fear the Walking Dead talk goin' round. A few weeks ago we heard some intriguing details from Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero, while last week we got a peek at the set courtesy of series creator Robert Kirkman. Today it's his Fear showrunner Dave Erickson spilling his guts about the highly-anticipated companion series.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Erickson discussed the just how much of a "prequel" it is to The Walking Dead, a potential crossover with the original show, and how long he envisions the series lasting (among other things). Read on!
On whether or not it's actually a prequel:
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."
On whether or not we'll be revisiting the CDC (and Walking Dead first season character Dr. Edwin Jenner, who ultimately revealed to Rick the truth about the deadly virus):
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."
On whether or not we'll be crossing over with The Walking Dead, or at the very least being reunited with long-dead characters:
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 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.
In regards to how many seasons he expects Fear the Walking Dead to be on the air, Erickson is surprisingly candid:
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, 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 of mile markers, which don't take me that long as of yet, but I can't really say because it's an AMC question.
There's a lot more from Erickson in the Hollywood Reporter interview, so head over HERE to check it out.