In a recent interview, Fear The Walking Dead showrunner Dave Erickson discussed the setting, characters, timeline, and many more details on The Walking Dead companion series.
Speaking with THR, Erickson discussed Fear The Walking Dead in detail, providing some insightful glimpses into the early days of the living dead uprising and giving us plenty to look forward to:
Erickson on how the companion series compares time-wise with the first episode of The Walking Dead:
"The goal was to loosely track the period of those four or five weeks that Rick Grimes was in his coma. I wouldn't say that we end the season at the exact same point where Rick wakes up, but it'll loosely be in that time frame. Things will have gone very bad by the end of season one."
On how Kirkman doesn't want to divulge what caused the zombie apocalypse, preferring instead to explore its effects on individual people and their relationships with others:
"I had a couple of early pitches that touched on what you're referring to and Robert shut me down. For him, it's never been about what caused it; it's always been about the impact it has on people..."
Erickson discusses the core characters and what their lives are like when we are introduced to them:
"It's about a family: Travis (Curtis) just moved in with his girlfriend Madison (Dickens) after they got married. She has two children, one of whom has some issues. Travis has a very pissed-off teenager and an ex-wife. You're talking about two people who, as the story opens, all they want is to bring their family together under one roof and make everyone whole. The irony for us is that the only thing that helps accomplish that is that the world ends."
Erickson also touches on how far ahead in the series he's planning out:
"All of the issues that we establish, these are the things that in my head will come to fruition in seasons three, four, five and six."
On whether or not we could see things from the CDC point-of-view in the companion series and if Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich) could make an appearance:
"I won't say that we would never go there, but as it was scripted originally, that was really a means to writing some connective tissue for the fans. Robert very poignantly said that he likes to avoid the CDC perspective, the FEMA perspective, at least moving forward."
On whether or not we could see characters cross over between the two Walking Dead shows:
"I think logistically, it would be very difficult. There's no plan for a crossover. If that were ever to happen, it would not be for seasons to come, and there's no current plan to do so. But I do think there's something compelling and interesting about it, too."
On what areas of Los Angeles viewers can expect to see:
"Right now, our L.A. skews more East Side. It's blue collar, it's closer to downtown. We're not hitting the landmarks as much. I think there are more opportunities to do so later this season. The goal was to show a very textured, layered, vibrant version of this city."
On how many seasons Erickson would ideally like this companion series to run:
"About five or six. The more we dig into it, the more we'll find. The original show is at least another few seasons based on the material that Robert has written for the comic already, and that serves as a guiding light."
Erickson mentioned that he wants the conflict and drama to be more internal than external:
"What's interesting to me is to try to internalize it as much as possible and create more of a Shane (Jon Bernthal)-Rick dynamic. That's where I find the most interesting problem and I find things more compelling... we have some ideas that are going to give us, in terms of location and structure, an opportunity to do a movie a season."
On the number of episodes he sees Fear The Walking Dead eventually getting to have per season:
"I think 13 is a great number; 15, 16, it's really a question of having the time to sit down and make sure we're not burning story to burn story; that we're able to build something that's layered and textured and compelling."
"A companion series to “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49, “Fear the Walking Dead” is executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert and showrunner David Erickson and produced by AMC Studios. Co-Executive Producer Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot, is also directing the second and third episodes. The series’ first season, consisting of six one-hour episodes, will premiere on AMC in late summer.
“Fear the Walking Dead,” which is set in Los Angeles and focuses on new characters and storylines, stars Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, “Sons of Anarchy”) as Madison, Cliff Curtis (“Missing,” “Gang Related”) as Travis, Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) as Nick and Alycia Debnam-Carey (Into the Storm) as Alicia. Also joining the cast as series regulars are Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Orange is the New Black”) as Liza and Mercedes Mason (Quarantine 2: Terminal) as Ofelia."