‘The Walking Dead’: Morgan Was The Only Choice For ‘Fear’ Crossover
The looming crossover between The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead was always going to have Morgan at its center, according to actor Lennie James, who said the crossover relied on his consent.
Morgan going from Walking Dead to Fear "wasn't a case of it being if it wasn't me or it wasn't Morgan then it would be somebody else," James told Digital Spy.
"They were very much saying, 'We were thinking about doing this thing and if you're really not up for it, then we'll go [in] a completely different direction.'"
James said it was ultimately his decision to leave The Walking Dead for Fear, explaining the crossover didn't come as a with-or-without-you situation.
The genesis for the two shows crossing paths hatched with Walking Dead producer and then-showrunner Scott Gimple as a way of furthering Morgan's story, and without Morgan — and subsequently James — the crossover would have been dead on arrival.
"It wasn't a case of, 'This is going to happen,' it was genuinely a case of what I thought about it, there was absolutely a choice," James said.
With James' Morgan Jones emigrating west to Texas following the events of The Walking Dead season 8, Fear season 4 finds that show undergoing a significant time jump.
The Walking Dead transplant isn't the only new character boarding this new season: joining James are franchise newcomers Garret Dillahunt, who plays reluctant gunslinger John Dorie, Maggie Grace, who plays adaptive survivor Althea, and Jenna Elfman, who plays traumatized lone survivor Naomi.
Returning cast members include Kim Dickens (Madison), Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia), Frank Dillane (Nick), Danay Garcia (Luciana) and Colman Domingo (Victor Strand).
On the other side of the country and begrudgingly embedded within a new community and a new group of survivors, Morgan also finds himself in a new state of mind.
"Morgan is a man of extremes," James revealed during a cast appearance at Anaheim, California's WonderCon in March. "If you're going to kill, you might as well kill everybody. If you're not going to kill, you shouldn't kill anybody."
Among the new character details revealed by the season 4 cast, James said Morgan will be more isolationist than ever before — the result of traumatic losses carried over from The Walking Dead.
James can be seen on season 8 of The Walking Dead Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Morgan will make his journey to Texas in the Fear The Walking Dead season 4 premiere, airing immediately following Walking Dead's season finale Sunday, April 15.