Comic Con 2015: Fear the Walking Dead Panel
Those who think The Walking Dead has been on the decline the last couple seasons will be pleased to know AMC's new spinoff series promises to pump some new blood in to the popular zombie universe. Little was known about the plot or execution of Fear The Walking Dead, but stars Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriquez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades and Mercedes Mason joined executive producer/showrunner Dave Erickson and executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and producer/special effects legend Greg Nicotero to present our first real look at the new series.
That started with the official trailer for the first season, which you can conveniently watch below:
The footage looked pretty good, but there was a "been there, done that" vibe to it. Reminded me of WORLD WAR Z but on a smaller scale.
As for the rest of the panel, here's what the cast/crew had to say about Fear the Walking Dead:
- Showrunner Dave Erickson said the show was mainly a family drama about a dysfunctional blended family. There will still be walkers and action, but the zombie apocalypse won't truly happen until the end of the season. He called it "the shark you don't see."
- Robert Kirkman always wanted to do a companion series that was very different from the original Walking Dead show. The reason they settled on L.A. as the setting was that it's a place famous for reinvention and starting over. This especially pertains to the character of the new show.
- The show will explore the time frame during the 2-3 weeks of Rick's coma. And even though the audience will know what's going on, the characters will be in the dark for much of the season, assuming that the walkers are just sick or on some sort of drug.
- Cliff Curts' character is a high school English teacher and Kim Dickens, his new wife, is a guidance counselor. While Rick on The Walking Dead is an alpha leader trained on weapons and has a clean sense of right and wrong, Fear will explore the opposite—how characters with no survival skills react to the zombie uprising. You'll see who "goes from coal to a diamond and who crumbles to dust."
- Greg Nicotero refuses to compare the two shows, saying the Walking Dead characters are larger than life, while Fear is much more grounded. He compared it to following a family during a natural disaster.
- As far as the walkers, you can expect more fresh zombies with no decomposition and people who just look sickly. Nicotero said you're instinct won't be to immediately shoot them in the head.
- Elizabeth Rodriguez from Orange is the New Black plays Cliff Curtis' ex wife who is going to nursing school. (You can probably guess how that comes in to play.) Her and her mute son eventually connect with Curtis and Dickens. Someone compared it to a sitcom where your ex wife moves in with you.
- Just because Rodriguez is on both shows doesn't spell doom for her character on either. The producers of Orange is the New Black are huge Walking Dead fans and were willing to work with her schedule to fit both shows.
- There are zero plans for the cast of the Walking Dead to ever meet with the cast of Fear. Besides it being geographically complicated, Erickson said, "Scott Gimple would kill me if I ever pitched that."
- The writers did research in to what would happen if society did break down from an event like this. Apparently an interruption of food sources in a major city could cause it to run out of food within 3 days.
- With LA being so diverse socially and economically, the show is mainly set in East LA and will show that if you live in Beverly Hills and have money, you can't necessarily buy your way out of the zombie apocalypse.
- The show will officially premiere Sunday August 23 at 9 p.m. and there will be a Talking Dead special following the season finale on October 4. The premiere will also roll out internationally at the exact same time everywhere, regardless of time zone. So you don’t have to avoid social media for spoilers.