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Following a string of cryptic teasers, AMC officially released the first trailer for Fear the Walking Dead on Friday at Comic-Con, where the cabler also revealed that the L.A.-set series would debut on Aug. 23 with a 90-minute episode and lead directly into the season six premiere of the flagship series. There will be a special Talking Dead airing Oct. 4 after the season finale of Fear.
The drama, from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Dave Erickson, stars Cliff Curtis stars as Travis, a teacher who shares a son with his ex-wife and is involved with guidance counselor Madison (Kim Dickens). Frank Dillane co-stars as Nancy’s drug-addicted son, Nick; Alycia Debnam Carey is Madison’s ambitious daughter, Alicia, Nick’s polar opposite who dreams of leaving L.A. for Berkeley when the apocalypse strikes. Elizabeth Rodriguez (Liza, an aspiring nurse who is Travis’ ex-wife), Lorenzo James Henrie (Chris, Travis’ son), Ruben Blades (Daniel Salazar) and Mercedes Mason (Daniel’s daughter, Ofilia) round out the cast.
Season one of the drama takes place during the time in which Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was in the coma during the pilot for the flagship. Like the original drama, season one will consist of six episodes, while season two — sources tell THR — will feature 15 and be split in two.
Erickson said the audience clearly knows what’s coming with the walkers but at first glance, these characters don’t “assume that these people are the undead.”
“They think they’re sick or on something,” he said of society at the onset of the outbreak. “We’re exploring what would have happened during those four to five weeks [when Rick from the flagship series was in the coma]. How people adjusted to what came down. Tonally, it’s incredibly different. Our first season is the shark you don’t see. We don’t get to full apocalypse until later in the season. It starts as a family drama and we filter the apocalypse through that. It afforded us the opportunity to anchor the show with this family and see how the apocalypse crushes them. There’s the ability to watch the fall. … We get to show the process by which the city goes down. … This is two-three weeks of the [four to five weeks] that Rick was in the coma. We wouldn’t end our finale and cut to Rick coming to.”
Dickens confessed she wasn’t sure she’d fit into doing a genre show but read the script and thought it was the “most amazing character” and noted she had nightmares about the role early on as she continued to grow into it. Curtis noted he liked the humanity of the characters.
Producers, meanwhile, stressed that Fear is a completely different world from the original series. “We’re going to see who here from a coal becomes a diamond and who crumbles to dust,” exec producer Dave Alpert said, noting that there’s no clear leader. “People you expect to be leaders may not necessarily make it.”
EP and effects guru Greg Nicotero said the two shows can’t be compared but said Fear represents everyday people. “The one thing the two shows share is the idea that circumstances change people and what they change people into is fascinating. … Knowing society is unraveling and seeing how these characters change is the idea for this show.”
Erickson — who noted there would be a lot of “bad-ass” women on Fear — reiterated that there are currently no plans for the two shows to crossover in any fashion, especially given their completely different locations and timelines. Curtis, however, joked that he’d love for Travis to meet Rick Grimes. “I’ll get a bromance on!”
Co-star Rodriguez, meanwhile, plays Travis’ ex-wife and an aspiring nurse. The Orange Is the New Black actress also shared that her character wasn’t originally envisioned as being Latina. She also said that Orange producers are big fans of the zombie drama and are happy to see the actress have a role in that world.
Check out the trailer, below.
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