Fear the Walking Dead star Jenna Elfman says she was unaware the show planned to kill off then-lead Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) when joining the Walking Dead spinoff in its "reworked" fourth season, which installed Morgan Jones (Lennie James) as new series lead. The revamped fourth season, the first under executive producer Scott Gimple and showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, revealed Madison was dead midway through the season just episodes after the surprise death of son Nick Clark (Frank Dillane). In exit interviews following her departure from the show, Dickens admitted to feeling "shocked and disappointed" upon learning Fear's new creative team was moving on from Madison Clark.
"I'd never had that experience before ... to come into an ensemble that's already flowing but knowing it was being kind of reworked," Elfman told the Talk Dead to Me podcast, adding she "had great admiration for the cast that was already in existence."
"I didn't know anyone was getting killed off when I took the job, at all," she added. "I had no idea until my first day."
It wasn't until Elfman arrived for a wardrobe fitting and meetings that she learned Fear was killing off its leading character. "I was like, 'What?!'" she recalled. "I had no idea."
Asked about theories that speculate Madison is still alive and will return, Elfman said, "I don't believe anything other than what the showrunners have said, which is [Madison is dead]. That's all I know."
Madison set fire to a horde of zombies to save her children, Nick and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), seemingly perishing in the ensuing inferno. The lack of a body has stoked theories that Madison might have escaped, making it possible for her to resurface in Fear's sixth season or beyond.
"As far as I know, she's dead," Dickens said in a 2019 interview. "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."
She continued, "I can't imagine they would want to revisit Madison, but she was a great character. I'm so proud of it."0comments
When The Hollywood Reporter asked Chambliss and Goldberg if Madison rescues a mortally wounded Morgan in the sixth season, the showrunners answered, "That is a fascinating theory. And we'll just have to wait for Season 6 to see how things go."