Fear the Walking Dead Comic-Con Panel

Fear the Walking Dead has never achieved the popularity of its sister show, but it remains a key piece of one of the biggest franchises on television…and a constant presence in Hall H at Comic-Con. AMC brought the series back to the world’s largest pop culture convention in the middle of the series’ fifth season, which continued the show’s attempt to soft-reboot itself with new cast members and a new direction.

Here’s what we learned from the panel.

The panel included series chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunners and executive producers Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer and director Michael Satrazemis, and cast members Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Maggie Grace, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Austin Amelio, Alexa Nisenson, Karen David, Jenna Elfman, and Rubén Blades.

Embracing Change

If there was one big point the panel circled around for an hour, it was that this series continues to be unafraid to make big changes and take big swings. Andrew Chambliss described the current season as their most ambitious, with the largest sets and wildest stunts. Still, Ian Goldberg noted that it still comes back to honoring the characters. “We’re just really proud we can tell these emotional stories with these incredible characters,” he said.

Michael Satrazemis, who began as a camera operator on The Walking Dead and now works as a director and producer on Fear the Walking Dead, addressed how they try to give the show a distinct look to distinguish it from its sister show. “Coming in last season, it was important to give the show its own identity,” he said. “It was important to find something that felt uniquely different.” That uniquely different direction meant aiming for an old school western vibe, with cinematography that focuses on picaresque frames and portraits. That “was immensely fun,” he said.

Make-up guru and executive producer Greg Nicotero delighted in how different Fear the Walking Dead‘s gore was from the core show. “What’s great about Ian and Andrew and the writers is that it’s a different world and they write different gags,” he said. “I love getting calls saying ‘We need 80 feet of intestines!’ It creates a different vibe.”

A New Season and a New Show

It was made official at the panel: AMC has renewed Fear the Walking Dead for a sixth season. That was a given. What was more exciting was that Scott M. Gimple teased details for an upcoming third Walking Dead series, one that sounds like it will be very different from the other two shows.

“There’s a big secret about the Walking Dead universe,” Gimple said. “We’ve seen just a tiny sliver of the Walking Dead world. The big secret is that there have been other civilizations that survived the apocalypse.” Although no title was given, the series will begin at a walled community and follow a group of young people who have literally grown up and come of age during the zombie apocalypse, living in relative safety and comfort. Eventually, the main characters decide to leave their community and embark on a dangerous quest beyond the walls, with some of them evolving into heroes and other into villains. “We’re going to open up a whole new world,” Gimple said.

The midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead airs on AMC on July 21, 2019.

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