SDCC 2019: Fear the Walking Dead Showrunners Tease “A Big Change” In Season 5 They’ve Been Planning for a While

Credit: AMC

Hot off the announcement of their season six renewal, the cast and creatives of Fear the Walking Dead sat down at a press conference at San Diego Comic Con to talk about what’s in store for the show. Showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg quickly revealed there’s something major in store for the end of season five. 

“Without giving something away, the world is going to expand in a big way and by the time we get to the end of the season, it is really going to shake the entire group to the very core and really change the show in a way that will launch us into season six, in a really big way,” Chambliss said.

“We really see season five as one big epic story, but as you’ll see if you continue to watch, it all builds to an ending which very much sets up what the design of season six is going to be and we’ve been planning it for a while,” Goldberg later added.

Is part of that plan to cross Fear with any other Walking Dead properties? Maybe but not until “deep into the future,” Goldberg said. Instead, viewers can look forward to answers about the mysterious Salazar, played by Rubén Blades, who continues to pop up wherever our protagonists are. Chambliss and Goldberg promise there’s an explanation for why Salazar is always around and it ties into an “unbelievably cool story” they’ve been working on for a year.

The cast had a lot to say about what they want for each of their characters in the remainder of season 5 and in season six. “I would love to see Charlie continue to try to redeem herself and for the group to truly, truly forgive her,” Alexa Nisenson said. Specifically, she’d like for Charlie to save someone’s life to help with her redemption. 

Both Jenna Elfman and Danay García discussed June and Luciana’s strengths, respectively. The way Elfman sees it, every challenge June has faced has made her stronger, even if it temporarily knocked her back a bit. So what will the next thing change her into? Elfman said she’s waiting “to see her warrior [moment].” 

García wondered who Luciana would be once she is physically and emotionally strong again. “I’m very curious to see who that woman is now.”

But Blades probably had the best response. “Basically, my goal is to stay alive. That’s my goal.”

The darkness of the show can take a toll on the actors too. Although Lennie James proclaimed he “was a badass long before this show,” he also confessed to having vivid dreams while filming. “A couple of times, my wife has had to leave the bed and go someplace else [to sleep] because I’m actually fighting zombies,” he said. “It’s a little bit scary but it’s a mindset you have to be in, a place you have to go to to do our show.”

Alycia Debnam-Carey chimed in later to talk about her character, Alicia. The actress mentioned Alicia had to choose between sinking further into darkness and finding light and hope and that’s helped give her an identity. “She defines herself as a fighter.” 

But will Alicia also define herself as a leader? While some may want Alicia and Morgan to fight for the top position, Lennie James isn’t interested in seeing that storyline play out. He feels it’s been done before and there are better stories to tell. 

“They’re both kind of reluctant leaders,” said James. “Morgan feels himself to be a really good number two and Alicia, to a certain extent, doesn’t realize just how powerful and how strong and how smart she may well be and the two of them together can help each other get to that place which will benefit the group. If they succeed, they succeed together and if they fail, they fail together.”

And there may be some failure ahead if the showrunners’ comments are any indication. 

“We are constantly striving to change what Fear is and reinvent it, so just as soon as everyone thinks they’ve figured out what we’re doing, we change things up and that’s gonna continue through season five,” Chambliss said. “There’ll be a big change at the end of season five.”

Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday, August 11th at 9/8c on AMC.

Stephanie Coats