The Ninjabot

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Comic-Con Panel Recap

Posted on July 11, 2015 at 9:41 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

fear-the-walking-dead-amc-key-art-slice-600x200

There’s no bigger show on cable television right now than AMC’s The Walking Dead, and it’s no stranger to Comic-Con either. The show’s panel has been a Hall H staple since Season 3, and it’s one of the show’s highlights. With the show now entering its sixth season, how do you keep people excited for what’s to come during the zombie apocalypse? The answer of course, is a spin-off companion series. With AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead to premiere in August, executive producer and FX extraordinaire Greg Nicotero along with Gale Anne Hurd and the show-runner Dave Erickson have brought the show to Comic-Con this year to give us our first full look.

Previously, we’ve only seen short teasers with no real footage or grasp of the story other than that it takes place in Los Angeles, and unlike its predecessor, takes place at the start of the zombie apocalypse. From what we got to see, the show is going to focus a lot on the family drama aspect, as well as the zombie outbreak, so we’ll see if that makes or breaks the show.

Panel Highlights

  • fear-the-walking-dead-alycia-debnam-carey-600x422-2The panel was moderated by Chris Hardwick, who stayed after The Walking Dead panel, so that’s already a great way to kick it off.
  • Chris shushes the crowd and says he’ll jump down there and make everyone be quiet if he has to, but then he says he’d probably get hurt doing so.
  • Chris says that LA would fall first during the zombie apocalypse because of the dense population.
  • Fear the Talking Dead will happen if the show works out, says Chris.
  • Introduction of the cast: Travis Manawa as Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens as Madison Bennett, Frank Dillane as Nick Bennett, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Bennett, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris, and Ruben Blades as Daniel.
  • Kirkman always wanted to make a companion show, and wanted to do something polar opposite of rural Georgia. So, they chose LA because it’s a metropolis with lots of people.
  • The fact that we know the zombie apocalypse is going to happen at some point provides most of the tension in the show. Most characters believe these people are just sick, but we as the audience know better.
  • Dave Erickson says the apocalypse builds through the first season and that it starts as a family drama. We get to experience how the apocalypse crushes them.
  • Chris says that the show feels like it’s in the same universe as TWD, but it isn’t a rip-off.
  • The show, unlike when Rick finds Atlanta already destroyed, is based on the early stages of the apocalypse; it’s loosely based during Rick’s coma.
  • While Rick in The Walking Dead is a clear alpha male who’s trained with weapons and in survival, the characters in Fear the Walking Dead have no apparent survival skills. The heart of the show fear-the-walking-dead-cliff-curtis-kim-dickens-600x422-2really revolves around how the characters change during the process.
  • Chris Hardwick says that Hall H during Comic-Con would go down in 7 minutes flat.
  • Greg Nicotero says the zombies in this show are more fresh and just look like sickly people. Your immediate reaction wouldn’t be to shoot them in the head, so this creates a problem for our characters.
  • All the panelists admit they’d die in the apocalypse almost immediately except for Greg. He says he’d just make himself up to be a walker and survive forever.
  • Apparently Gale Anne Hurd has enough food to last for three years if the apocalypse happened tomorrow.

Footage

They screened the first full-length trailer and what I saw looked amazing.

They open on a shot of urban Los Angeles, Cliff and his family are interacting and living a normal life. Cliff works at a school and they’re talking about how many kids are out sick this week… “It must be the flu.” They cut to a shot of a rundown church with someone living in it. They witness the first shot of a zombie eating a human and runs away from the church only to be hit by a car. No one believes what he saw and writes it off as him being “high.” Ominous dialogue: “Whether it’s a virus or a microbe, it’s spreading fast.” More shots of destruction and fresh looking zombies getting killed by our main cast. Cliff and his family get separated and it seems like a lot of the show is going to be about them trying to reconnect during the apocalypse. The final voiceover states: “When civilization ends, it ends fast.” Lights up, everyone applauds!

Audience Q&A

Q: fear-the-walking-dead-kim-dickens-375x600Was it easy to transition into your characters? Are you a lot like them?

A: Kim doesn’t know, she’s baffled by the question. Elizabeth Rodriguez says she’s nurturing like her character, so yes. She can’t handle blood though so it was tough to do all of her character’s “nursing stuff.”

Q: (for Elizabeth Rodriguez) How is the show different from Orange Is the New Black?

A: “In prison you know who your enemies and allies are and you know you’re getting out at some point, there are rules. But in the zombie apocalypse there are no rules and there’s fear in the unknown.” The OITNB producers love The Walking Dead.

Q: Will the cast from the two shows ever meet?

A: Chris says they don’t want to meet Rick where he’s at right now in the show. Dave Erickson says there’s no plans for it right now because it’s too geographically complicated at the moment. Chris says Cliff has to grow a beard if he wants to meet Rick; he then jokingly asks if they’ll all meet the cast of Dr. Who and the producers joke “Yes!”

Q: Will there be any LA trademarks in the show being overrun by zombies?

A: The question is widely skirted and Dave Erickson simply states: “The Staples Center isn’t going down.”

Q: Will characters be in traditional gender roles in how they handle dangerous situations?

A: Dave Erickson says that there will be a lot of female badasses in the show and they’ll be breaking a lot of gender stereotypes.

Q: How class and political structure will play a role in the show?

A: Dave says that the show is mostly in East LA (close to Downtown) and every LA city is experiencing the apocalypse differently, so it’s extremely isolating living in different neighborhoods within LA.

Q: Will Chris Hardwick ever be a survivor or zombie in the show?

A: This was Chris’ favorite question. Greg said Chris was always welcome to be a walker on TWD, but Chris fear-the-walking-dead-alycia-debnam-carey-maestro-harrell-600x422thinks if you see him in the show, it would take you out of the moment so he’ll only do it if everyone wants him to… The crowd goes wild.

Q: Would Ruben Blades fair better against fighting the Predator or zombies?

A: Ruben says zombies, because they aren’t invisible like the Predator.

Q: The last question was how does Ruben have time to be a Grammy-winning musician and an actor?

A: He says that he dedicates his time fully to what he’s doing currently so his music is on hold for the moment. During the hiatus he says that he’ll probably tour with his band again until they start shooting again.

Follow Snackbar on Twitter @snackie_cakes for all your Geek News

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos

    Tweets