Fear the Walking Dead director and co-executive producer Michael E. Satrazemis, who directed the Season 4 exit episode for Madison Clark, responds to rumors star Kim Dickens will return to the Walking Dead spin-off. Season 4 Episode 8, "No One's Gone," sees Madison sacrifice herself to save her children, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and other survivors trapped in the parking lot of their post-apocalypse community when it's overrun by the undead. Because Madison's death occurs off-screen — she's last seen in a flash of light after setting fire to the invading zombie horde — many fans are unconvinced Madison died in the blaze and could return.
"You can't [ignore fan reactions]," Satrazemis said on the Talk Dead to Me podcast when asked about fan reactions and theories that Madison is still alive. "I mean, I have an Instagram and I put out a photo every episode to thank people and you get responses. So I read them, I try not to take things too hard one way or the other, and everyone's really pretty pleasant."
"I do get the people that will say 'bring Madison back' five times in a row," the directing producer said, referencing the #BringBackMadison campaign on social media. "There's a huge group and she's a very important and strong character and I get it. I understand, but all of it's kind of flattering to me."
"I think if we can elicit strong emotions from people, that's what we're trying to do as creators. That's the majority of what I'm doing is trying to create emotions and keep people attached to humanity and make people feel things," added Satrazemis, who made his Walking Dead directing debut with "The Grove" episode of the flagship series in 2014. "I don't necessarily care what emotion I create. I would love to make everyone happy all the time, but that's not how stories work, especially in the apocalypse."
Satrazemis-directed episodes of The Walking Dead have killed off characters like Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Jesus (Tom Payne). On Fear, the director was tasked with crafting the exit episodes for major characters like Madison and John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt).
"I've been through a lot of character deaths over the last 10 years, and I would say that Kim was better than anyone else," Satrazemis said of Dickens, who learned her leading character would be killed off before the start of production on Season 4. "It's really difficult. It's really, really difficult to go through that ... She was the most professional [actor] ever, period, just charming to be around and acted her ass off, right to the very end."
Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, the Fear showrunner duo since Season 4, would not confirm Madison is dead when asked about a rumored return just months ago.
Chambliss previously told Insider that seeing Madison again, either in a flashback or in present-day Fear, is "definitely something we talk about." When asked if Madison was dead, Goldberg answered, "Well… we never saw her body. And Madison herself said, 'No one's gone until they're gone.'"0comments
Characters believed dead since Season 4 returned in the most recent episode of Fear, "Mother," when Alicia encountered the last of the stadium survivors who escaped because of Madison's sacrifice in "No One's Gone." The revelation came months after Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple told Madison fans to "keep hope alive" when asked about future stories with Dickens' Madison Clark during an interview with ComicBook.com.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things from The Walking Dead Universe. Fear next airs "USS Pennsylvania" on Sunday, June 6, on AMC.