Fear the Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg hint the upcoming fifth season of the Walking Dead spinoff will pit Morgan (Lennie James) and his band of capable survivors against radioactive walkers, challenging the group with “the most dangerous walkers they’ve faced yet.”
“There may have been some nuclear signs,” Chambliss said of the just-released Season Five trailer at WonderCon over the weekend. Asked if walkers, people, or location serves as the primary threat this year, Chambliss answered it’s “all of the above.”
“We saw our group head out with that mission to help people and they’re gonna find it’s a lot harder than just picking up a walkie and saying they want to help,” Chambliss teased. “A lot of teasers in that trailer, but they find themselves in a strange place with some kind of mysterious things going on around them.”
Added Goldberg, “You did see that nuclear sign, and they may come up against a walker threat that is unlike any they’ve ever seen. And a walker threat that might be able to hurt them beyond just a bite. So perhaps some of the most dangerous walkers they’ve faced yet.”
The flagship series flirted with potentially irradiated walkers in a Season Eight episode that saw tiger Shiva perish when rescuing Carol (Melissa McBride), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and Jerry (Cooper Andrews) from sludge-covered zombies. Creator Robert Kirkman, who also co-created Fear, later said the substance in those barrells was “probably paint thinner.”
“It’s corrosive material in the barrels which was effecting the zombies,” Kirkman noted on an episode of live aftershow Talking Dead. “They were trapped in that ravine and couldn’t get out. It’s always fun to think about it, not fun, but we really like to think about how the body would decay and how that would effect zombies and how you can put them in different situations that would result in very unique kinds of zombies.”
The trailer sees Morgan and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) coming across a man-made blockade of cars, each covered in blood red spray paint warning of danger and signs marking a high radiation area.
Also revealed is a particularly gruesome-looking walker likely suffering from exposure to radioactive materials, while a gun-pointing somebody is seen wearing a hazmat suit — likely one of the new threats encountered by the survivors as they embark on their goodwill mission to assist strangers in need.
“He’s kind of surprised, yeah,” James said when asked if Morgan expected pushback against the group’s efforts.
“And he’s kind of surprised by people’s reluctance. I think he thought he would offer help, people will take help, he would feel good about himself, end of story. It’s not quite worked out that way, but we’ve gotten to a point now in our storytelling that we know how to survive. We have to figure out what the next step is. And we’ve got skillful at surviving and we want to share that with other people and figure out who we’re going to be in the future. But it’s not easy, as nothing is easy in this world, and so they face some trials and tribulations.”
“But... I can only say so much,” James added with a sly smile. “There’s so much I want to tell you but I can’t because I’ll get fired.”
Colman Domingo, Danay García, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, Jenna Elfman, and Alexa Nisenson return as series regulars alongside series newcomers Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead’s Dwight) and Karen David (Once Upon a Time). Also returning is Rubén Blades as the formerly missing Daniel Salazar.
Fear the Walking Dead Season Five premieres Sunday, June 2 on AMC.
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