The hourlong drama pilot from Showtime and Sony Pictures will see Dickens play a former local Floridian beauty queen and mother to Macy Dunleavy (The Glee Project’s Lily Mae Harrington), a “curvy, sexy, unapologetic high school dropout who is finding her womanhood and is ready to seize a big opportunity.”
Joshua Mikel, who played rat-faced Savior Jared in seasons seven and eight of The Walking Dead, is also on board the pilot alongside Michael Mosley (Fear The Walking Dead: Passage), Jon Foster (Like Father), Keith Machekanyanga (Timeless) and Spencer Howell (Ithaca).
Eileen Myers (Hung, Masters of Sex) writes and produces the pilot, with Deborah Spera (Reaper, Army Wives) on board as executive producer. Sian Heder (GLOW, Orange is the New Black) directs.
Queen Fur is Dickens’ first role since exiting The Walking Dead spinoff Fear The Walking Dead midway through its fourth season in June, where her character — series lead Madison Clark — was killed off. The move came as a shocker even for Dickens, who was told of Madison’s looming demise in a pre-season conversation with executive producer Scott Gimple and new Season Four showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg.
“I went in for a meeting with the producer and the showrunners, about a month before we went into production of Season Four... and they told me that the story they plotted out involved Madison’s demise in the Mid-Season finale,” Dickens told ComicBook.com. “That’s the first I had heard of it and I was definitely surprised by that and disappointed.”
“It’s a no-one’s-safe environment,” Dickens told us. “That said, that moment when I heard, I was terribly disappointed. You know, I really hung my hat on this character. I loved her so much and I was so proud and honored to be this fierce leader in this amazing Walking Dead universe.”
Appearing on live aftershow Talking Dead following the mid-season finale, the 53-year-old actress admitted she was “devastated” when she first learned the news but was proud to have played a middle-aged mother who emerged as a strong pack leader.
“I felt like I worked my whole career to get to this point, to get to play her, and it’s been such an honor,” Dickens said. “And I think she’s... this special character that has pushed through perimeters of female leads in a genre piece and she’s complex, she’s flawed, she’s good, she’s bad, she’s a mother, she’s not in her twenties or thirties, it’s unique. And I think it was such an honor to play it.”
Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.