Some nine weeks after AMC paused production on the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead, star Lennie James is unsure when filming might resume in Austin, Texas. The Walking Dead spinoff was scheduled for a week-long break days before the shoot, in motion since November, was halted indefinitely amid industry-wide coronavirus shutdowns. That week off turned into a month, and then two months, indicating Fear could begin airing episodes from an unfinished season should Season 6 meet its expected August premiere date. In an update provided to Digital Spy, James says filming on this latest season is expected to wrap — eventually.
"We have no official restart time, but everything is still moving as if we will be back," James said, adding AMC is "in consultation with experts to find the safest and best way, and the most functional way, of not just restarting, but restarting safely, and finding a way to remain safe."
According to James, filming won't restart until the network and producers can implement required safety measures now being considered by an industry brought to a standstill by COVID-19.
"The specifics of our show mean that we have a slightly different dynamic about how we could possibly incorporate, you know, social distancing. It's really not possible, certainly as far as in front of camera is concerned," James said. "I don’t think we could realistically go back to work until we have a reliable, quick test that gives a result as quickly as possible, but also one that's cheap enough that we could repeat it every day or every two days, depending on what the best health advice is."
Similar delays have impacted sister show The Walking Dead, leaving that series unable to air its Season 10 finale. Filming on Season 11, once scheduled to initiate in May, has been postponed indefinitely.
"Like everyone else, once we're given the all clear, we're ready to roar back. Just like with everybody else, it's this weird moment of pause," Scott Gimple, Fear executive producer and chief content officer of the Walking Dead Universe, told The Hollywood Reporter in a late March update after all three Walking Dead shows entered various stages of pause. "There are so many people who work on these shows. Between the three shows, we're talking about [numbering] in the thousands. We want everyone safe and healthy. That's the deal. We all have to pull together to make sure everyone is safe and healthy."
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