The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead creator and producer Robert Kirkman hinted season 4 of Fear will feature a time jump, as suspected, catching up with the Clark clan after Madison, Nick and Alicia's separation in the explosive season 3 finale.
"Well, the options are that Fear would need to experience a time jump, so that Morgan could leave Walking Dead and go to Fear without, you know, there being a paradox," Kirkman said when asked about the possibility of a time skip during a Q&A session during this year's Walker Stalker Cruise.
"Or there's not a time jump," Kirkman added, "and the Morgan that we see in Fear The Walking Dead season 4 is Morgan in-between the Clear episode and him coming back into the show. So it's going to have to be one of those two things."
"We haven't said which one it is, I think it's the one you prefer, but we'll see," Kirkman said, noting "some people online have figured it out."
"Fear season 4... is actually gonna premiere the night of the end of season 8," he explained, "so it's going to be a big event with both shows existing on the same night, so you'll get all the answers you need there."
Fear season 4 launching the same night Walking Dead ends further suggests the spinoff jumps ahead from the season 3 finale, putting the Clarks on pace with Walking Dead season 8.
Morgan — who is the only still-surviving cast member of Walking Dead to have appeared alongside leading man Rick Grimes in the 2010 pilot — left the series early on with young son Duane in tow, not to return until season 3 episode "Clear," where a crazed Morgan was seen surviving on his own.
Rick and Morgan once again parted ways, and Morgan wouldn't reappear until 5x01, "No Sanctuary." He eventually tracked down Rick's tight-knit band of survivors in Alexandria, Virginia, with James joining the show as a series regular in season 6.
James himself hinted his involvement in Fear would take place after season 8 of Walking Dead, saying the back half of the season will "springboard" Morgan into the spinoff series.
"The things that the writers are doing with Morgan and the way that they're navigating, it's not really a spoiler alert, but the way that Morgan transitions through the crossover is really, really interesting," James told ComicBook.com in December.
"The springboard that goes from The Walking Dead to Fear is a real... He goes with some kind of trajectory," James explained.
"It is a full, well-thought out journey that Morgan goes on. A lot of it is tied to his relationship with Rick. A lot of it is tied to his relationship to this group of people that he feels conflicted about caring for and wanting to protect."
The Walking Dead resumes its eighth season Sunday, February 25 on AMC, airing its season 8 finale Sunday, April 15, immediately followed by the Fear The Walking Dead season 4 premiere.