Former Fear the Walking Dead star Kim Dickens is denying involvement with the upcoming sixth season of the zombie drama after a trailer for the new season showed a blonde-haired prisoner some suspected to be Dickens' Madison Clark. The character was seemingly killed off by setting fire to a zombie horde in Season 4 episode "No One's Gone," saving her children, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and friends Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Luciana (Danay García) when their post-apocalypse community was overrun by the dead. Dickens has not returned to the series since the episode first aired in June 2018, by which point The Walking Dead transplant Morgan Jones (Lennie James) was installed as new series lead.
"I think online, they picked up that maybe it was a tease in the trailer that Madison was coming back," Dickens said during an Instagram Live stream with USA Network, home to new series Briarpatch. "But it's not me, guys. Sorry."
Dickens was informed Madison Clark would be killed off before entering into production on Season 4, the first under showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg with creative input from executive producer and Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple. In her first post-exit interview on live after-show Talking Dead, Dickens admitted she was "heartbroken" and "devastated" over the death.
In March 2019, Dickens expressed doubts Fear would revisit Madison.
"As far as I know, she's dead," Dickens told MovieWeb. "It was the part I'm most proud of. Helping build that show from the beginning, across three different countries, that character was something I felt I had grown my whole career to get to play. I'm so proud of it, and it ended too soon for what I wanted, but there were a lot of changes over there creatively. I can't imagine they would want to revisit Madison, but she was a great character. I'm so proud of it."
Defending the controversial death, the showrunners said Madison was killed off to explore "the thematic idea and emotion" behind Season 4, which was "taking people from hopelessness toward that hope" inspired by Madison's death after she founded a community of survivors housed in a former baseball stadium.
"Madison is the ultimate embodiment of hope. She's someone who is selfless. We see that not only she fights to protect her own family, but also to bring in people from the outside world who can help themselves into the shelter of the stadium. She's heroic in that way," Goldberg told The Hollywood Reporter after the Season 4 midseason finale. "We've had two timelines this season. Strand, Alicia and Luciana have been on this very dark mission for the first eight episodes. We didn't reveal why until last night's episode, and it's because of who they lost and their reactions to the loss of that hope. It isn't until the midseason finale where they start to rediscover how far they've strayed from what Madison wanted for them, and why she made that sacrifice."
The coming season promises to be darker after Season 5 ended with Morgan seemingly dead and his group separated by new villain Virginia (Colby Minifie), who sent the survivors to different settlements operated by her Pioneers.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premieres this summer on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.