With a new mission to help people struggling during the zombie apocalypse, the cast and crew of Fear the Walking Dead took a break from that critical goal to talk about the upcoming season at WonderCon 2019.
Moderator Yvette Nicole Brown introduced a trailer for Season 5, which showed some of the hurdles the group will have to jump over to make their mission a success. They live in the Walking Dead universe. Did you think it was going to be easy? To the cheers of fans in attendance at the Anaheim Convention Center, the trailer also announced the return of Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar to the cast.
Yvette started the panel by discussing the group's new mission, led by Morgan. Lennie James said Morgan is "surprised by people's reluctance to receive help. [People in this world] know how to survive. We need to figure out what the next step is."
From what producer Ian Goldberg tells us, that next step might be MORE surviving. After Yvette noticed a nuclear warning sign during the trailer, Goldberg said that "they will encounter walkers they've never seen before, and will probably be the most dangerous walkers they've ever faced." Nuclear power + zombies do NOT equal anything good.
The discussion moved to Colman Domingo (Victor Strand), who directs his second Fear the Walking Dead episode this season. The producers were so impressed with his first foray, they made sure his next challenge was "bigger and more emotional," according to Goldberg.
The cast also chimed in to sing Colman's praises: "We usually have guest directors come in," said Danay Garcia (Luciana). "[Colman] is one of us, and has seen our journeys from the very beginning, which makes it wonderful to work with."
Colman himself talked about what he learned from the experience, " [On acting vs. directing,] one feeds the other. I believe I become a better collaborator as an actor from what I learn as a director."
"New" cast member Austin Amelio (Dwight) was a bit hush-hush on his journey from Virginia to Texas but did say that filming in his hometown of Austin, Texas, is a "dream come true. I started acting in Austin, and now I am back filming something so huge, so it's come full circle."
Austin is one of the many places that FWTD has filmed, but Alycia Debnam-Carey will always have a soft spot for her home. "I'm pretty basic, but my favorite location to shoot was L.A. I could go home afterward!"
The biggest surprise from the panel was the return of Daniel Salazar. Ruben Blades made sure the fans in the room knew how much he appreciated their support. "You never know what's going to happen with a show like this and characters like these. Thanks to all of you for helping to keep Daniel alive."
For years, the universe of The Walking Dead has been about surviving. It's about outlasting some outside force. This season of Fear the Walking Dead is trying to bring something new to the story: hope.
The fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead premieres June 2 on AMC.