Fear the Walking Dead season 6: Secrets from the set - Time jumps, Walking Dead crossovers and new characters
Cast members including Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James and Colman Domingo join showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss at Comic-Con to talk season 6.
It’s been a longer journey than normal for Fear the Walking Dead season 6, but the wait is almost over.
We’ll finally discover whether Morgan is dead or alive and discover the fate of the survivors who have fallen under the rule of Virginia (Colby Minifie).
And the trailer revealed at Comic-Con 2020 showcased a darker, action-packed season with new characters, big surprises and a chilling final shot of Morgan Jones apparently meeting a horrifying end.
The cast, including Lennie James, appeared in a panel event at Comic-Con to field burning fan questions and reveal some set secrets...
The red-eyed ‘zombie’ Lennie James we see at the end of the season 6 trailer doesn’t bode well for Morgan. But what if it’s a dream sequence or some clever writer/producer trickery?
It would be a surprise for them to spoil Morgan’s fate in the trailer, so we’re almost tempted to believe he may have got out alive. But maybe that’s the double-bluff they’re counting on.
Needless to say, showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andre Chambliss are coy on whether Morgan is ‘okay’.
“Okay can mean a lot of different things. Physically? Spiritually?” they teased.
“Yes that was Morgan with the red eyes. And it’s not allergies. There is something going on with Morgan.”
Lennie James also wouldn’t confirm or deny his character’s fate, but in answering a question about the future for Morgan and new love interest Grace (Karen David), did hint at possible survival.
“I’d like to explore what [love] looks like for Morgan,” said James.
“In season 5 when we were putting together the building blocks of Grace and Morgan’s relationship, I described it as the scariest thing Morgan has faced since the apocalypse began and I still believe that.
“What Grace has done, she’s opened up a part of his heart that was locked down. Suddenly the red light has gone on and that scares the hell out of him. Being Morgan it ain’t going to be easy and they won’t be running over hills and holding hands. It’s never easy for Morgy.”
When asked what his old buddy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) would think of the Morgan we find in season 6, Lennie said: “I think he’d be happy that his friend is still alive. But he also might be really worried of what will be left of his friend in season 6 and what might remain.
“He might be very scared of what his friend might be and where he might be.”
Get ready for some time-jumps
Life is never straightforward in the Walking Dead universe and in Fear the Walking Dead time-jumps have become a regular tool for shaking up storylines and keeping viewers guessing about their favourite character's fates.
Season 6 will be no different with plenty of twists in store to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Walking Dead boss Scott M Gimple confirmed: “Not only is there a time-jump, but there might be time-jumps.”
Co-showrunner Ian Golberg joked: “Time will be measured by the length of Garrett’s [Dillahunt] beard. You know in 24 when the clock comes up – we just measure it with Garrett’s chin.”
Fans will also be pleased that season 6 will hark back to some of the show’s greatest episodes with a new “anthology structure”.
“We’ll deep dive into how these characters live in Virginia’s community,” said co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss.
“It’s in the style of episodes we’ve loved in the past like John Dorie and Laura in season 4 or Alicia and Charlie in the cabin. We’ll see lots more of that storytelling in season 6.”
The Walking Dead's most unnerving villain
Lennie James has squared off against some of the scariest villains on both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead over the last decade.
However, Colby Minifie’s Virginia might just beat the lot for giving him the heebie-jeebies.
“[Colby] has a real off-kilter energy,” said James.
“Firstly she comes at you and it’s like a beam of light. Everything about her is just slightly on a dodge. I think that’s why she makes such a fantastic villain, for want of a better word.
“In terms of all the villains we’ve come across in Fear and The Walking Dead, she’s the one that is the most unnerving, because it’s not clear how she’s getting this done.
“She’s also one of the most successful adversaries we’ve come across. She’s not just running one group, she’s running 9, 10 or 11 of them. She may have 500 of them.
“She’s met groups like us before, but we’ve never met anyone like her before. And a lot of that is down to Colby. The way she pitches it. The smile she has on her face when she’s condemning someone to death. It’s a beautifully realised character.”
Gimple said we would see new dimensions to the Walking Dead’s “cheeriest villain” with the arrival of her sister Dakota, played by Zoe Colletti.
Andrew Chambliss said: “Virginia is now calling the shots. Our characters are not masters of their own universe anymore.
“They are living under Virginia’s rule and in Virginia’s communities. It’s a big paradigm shift and we’re really interested in what this does to our characters. What you’ll see is some very different shades to these characters.
“They’ll all be tested in ways they’ve not been tested before. How will they fit in Virginia’s world? Will they rebel? Will they accept it? You will be very surprised with how these characters react and tonally it’s going to be a darker season.”
Strand and Alicia going back to their roots
After six seasons of absolute devastation for Alicia Clark, the one character she can still depend on is Victor Strand.
The pair are rare survivors from season 1 and despite Strand’s slippery nature, he’s probably the only person left that Alicia trusts.
“They went through so much together and he’s been there for her when Madison and Nick have gone. I think she has that bond with Strand,” said Alycia Debnam-Carey.
“She knows inherently who he is. She’s seen all the different aspects of Strand and all the different hats he wears. When you know people’s duplicitous personalities you can at least navigate that and trust yourself in it a bit more.”
And it will be the wheeling, dealing Victor Strand of season 1 who comes back to the fore in season 6 as he attempts to deal his way out of trouble with Virginia.
“We’ve peeled away the layers of Strand for the last five seasons,” said Colman Domingo.
“At the end of season 5, it was time to dig deep into his skillset and make a deal. He’s a dealmaker. It goes back to his old corporate and real estate skills.
“He’s been leaning into other ideologies and ethos, but right now he has to trust his own instinct. He goes hard. You’ll see the elements of the Victor Strand you were first introduced to in season 1... That part of Strand who is a survivor is coming back out.”
A Die Hard episode?
There will be two very familiar guest directors in season 6. Colman Domingo is getting back behind the camera and Lennie James is making his directorial debut on the show.
Domingo teased: “I directed an episode that is a very Die Hard-esque episode. It’s so cool. It’s a cool, cool episode.
“It features actors in this show who work together in a new and dynamic way.”
James said he loved the experience of directing as he got to meet new members of the crew and was given a fantastic episode involving Colman and Alycia.
“I’ve never been that scared in my whole life. I’m not sure I will ever direct again, but I had such a great time,” said James.
A Walking Dead 'happy' reunion
Following in the footsteps of Morgan and Dwight (Austin Amelio) in jumping from The Walking Dead to Fear is Christine Evangelista, who plays Sherry.
Dwight's long-missing wife was last seen in The Walking Dead season 7. But a post on Fear the Walking Dead's social account confirmed she would be part of Fear season 6 - in some form.
"Is this a dream, or a reunion?" read the post, with a picture of Dwight and Sherry reunited.
Dwight came to Fear the Walking Dead in a quest to find Sherry, who had left notes for him in the places she'd been.
Speaking about the arrival of Sherry, Fear the Walking Dead's showrunners Ian Golberg and Andrew Chambliss said: "We did release a photo of the two of them together, so that's probably not a secret. We will see Dwight and Sherry together.
"We’re big fans of the character of Dwight and he was a very different man by the end of season 5 on Fear.
"He was once Negan’s top lietenannt and now he’s in a position of hope, with a new family and there was a whole new light to him.
"What’s interesting to us is if that reunion happens, he’s a different person now, she may be a different person, so it may not go quite as they expected."
Fear the Walking Dead season 6 returns on Monday, October 12 in the UK on AMC.