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The Next Adversary in ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Won’t Be Something We’ve Seen Before

Jason McDonald

At this years Wondercon I got the chance to sit down with the “Fear the Walking Dead” (along with 20-30 other bloggers/reporters) and pick their brains about the upcoming season.  With plenty of new additions to this upcoming season, including Jenna Elfman, and the arrival of a familiar “Walking Dead” character it seems like this season for “Fear the Walking Dead” is prime for plenty of change and turmoil.  So there were certainly plenty of questions raised regarding not only the future of the series, but the “Walking Dead” universe as a whole.

First of all, one of the big questions about the upcoming season was why Morgan (Lennie James) was making the jump from “The Walking Dead” to “Fear the Walking Dead.”  Showrunner Andrew Chambliss touched on the choice to bring his character over and expressed the idea that he was a natural fit for the emotional arc that would be playing out this season.

“We set out with a very specific idea in mind about where we wanted to take the season emotionally and once we sort of mapped that out . . . we were big fans of Morgan’s character from “Walking Dead” and Lennie James . . . and it became undeniable that Morgan seemed like the perfect person to intersect with the journey we’ve charted. So we’re very excited to see how it plays out and how fans will react to it.”

And with Morgan’s arrival, that means the two separate “Walking Dead” shows are finally connecting in a meaningful way.  Is this simply a one-off event or will there be further interactions between the two shows to create a larger “Walking Dead” universe? Of course Chambliss wouldn’t go too deep on what the future might hold for crossovers, however he did touch on the ramifications of his arrival.

“It is a step in bringing the world’s closer together, for us it’s really about Morgan’s journey to ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and becoming apart of that world. At the same time he’s going to change and effect the characters who are on ‘Fear’ and likewise they’re gonna change him and it’ll create something that feels new and different.’

Along with Lennie James joining the cast, we’ll also be seeing Jenna Elfman take on the zombie universe for the first time.  Normally Elfman is known for her comedic roles, though she’s also done the occasional dramatic role.  However, when she was asked about coming to the horror genre it was interesting to note that she viewed “Fear the Walking Dead” as a drama.

“Well it’s not my genre that’s been in the past . . . whatever, but it actually was before I was doing comedy. I was doing drama, but then comedy boat went and I’ve just been on that cruise.  I was super honored that they came to me for this.  I was really ready for a change.  Something that I really wanted was to lean into a woman who has lived life and reared children and had a lot of experiences. I was really looking forward to a project where I could really lean into the human story and human emotions and tell a real story where I can stay in those moments and connect with people and connect with humanity.  The writing is superb, it warms me, I get so excited for every script.”

Regarding the upcoming challenges that cast would face this season, here’s what Chambliss had to say:

The central goal we had when Ian and I started working on this . .  . we wanted to find the thing that makes surviving worthwhile.  And making it more than just where am I gonna find a place to sleep tonight? Or where I am gonna find some food and some water.  And really to have a mission statement that’s finding the reasons to live, like the connections you make in this world.  And there are connections that are so fraught cause you never know what’s going to come around the corner.  And that’s at the center of every story we’ve set out to tell this season.

And while personal challenges are great, what sort of villains will they be facing?  Co-showrunner Ian Goldberg chimed in on this one along with Chambliss, but the were very vague about the upcoming conflict.  Still, the way they were describing it made it seem like this would be an opposition completely new to the “Walking Dead” universe.

Ian Goldberg- “One of the great things about ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ universe is that it lends itself too reinvention. And one of the things we got excited about when we started thinking about obstacles our characters might have and adversaries is that we really wanted to create something that hadn’t been seen before. To create a different force of opposition and uh . . . we can’t tell you exactly what form that takes, but we think and hope that you’ll find that it’s very different than the adversaries they’ve been up against.”

Andrew Chambliss – “And kind of one our goals in creating this was to create an adversary where going up against them isn’t as easy as just arming up with weapons and having a fight. Really, you’re trying to make a challenge that’ll push our characters to dig a little bit deeper and to really test them.  Test themselves, test what they believe in, and what they’re fighting for.”

It’s no surprise that they would be coy about the details of the upcoming season, but it’s interesting to see them be so protective about who and what the adversary would be this year.  I’ll be really curious to see how they change things up and actually make it something we haven’t seen before in the “Walking Dead’ universe.

WC10



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