#SDCC15: Fear the Walking Dead Cast and Crew Share What to Expect in Season 1 - Dread Central
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#SDCC15: Fear the Walking Dead Cast and Crew Share What to Expect in Season 1

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We just wrapped up our roundtable interviews with the cast and crew of “Fear the Walking Dead,” and here’s everything you need to know about the show leading up to its August 23rd premiere.

We chatted with producers David Erickson, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and Dave Alpert and cast members Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Frank Dillane, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades, and Mercedes Mason.

We kicked things off by asking how they are dealing with the massive expectations for the show given the success of “The Walking Dead.” Kim said her experience was that she didn’t think about it – she was caught up in the moment. But now she’s just hoping the audience will embrace it.

Alpert added that with “The Walking Dead” people knew so much about the source whereas with “Fear TWD” people know about the world but not the characters.

Cliff added that here we have people who are more concerned about their families and relationships rather than dealing with an already in place apocalypse. As for the tone of the show, they are treating it as a very real situation – there is media and social media reporting on events, resulting in so much info that no one agrees on what is actually happening and what is not. They are trying to assess the situation and figure out how to deal with it.

Alpert said it plays up how people get info these days. And even how some don’t get the info that other people do – they are just living their lives. Cliff mentioned how it sets up expectations and then pulls the rug out from people.

Is there a mission statement for the show? Kim said her character’s objective is protecting her family; Cliff added that he’s just holding his family together. So… for sure family is the overriding theme.

We asked them how it was to watch the first episode, and Kim said it was traumatizing! Cliff is just very proud of everyone’s work and being a part of the team.

The diversity of ethnic backgrounds is a big part of the show, tying in with the East Los Angeles location. As Kim said, it’s “urban, diverse, grounded, sun-bleached, worn, and graffitied.” (Yep, sounds like the LA we all know and love!)

Alpert said the new setting is very exciting but adds a sense of isolation when compared to the rural South of “The Walking Dead.” As society breaks down, when people don’t know their neighbors, who do you let in? As Cliff said, it’s the collapse of the human ego and super-structure.

Check out an except from the panel for a bit more about that:

Next up was Nicotero, who was asked how he’s making the zombies visually interesting since we’re only at the outbreak stage. He said we can expect things like an implement stuck in a walker, like maybe he was stabbed right after turning but still got away. Once again, they are never called “zombies” because that word doesn’t exist in the world created by Robert Kirkman. Instead they use “infected.”

The challenge for them was making sure there are “compelling moments.” He shot the pilot while on hiatus from “TWD,” and in makeup tests he was getting a little too extreme so they dialed it back but then re-shot the ending to kick it back up a bit. We can expect very different production designs between “Fear” and “TWD,” but they do obviously share a little of the same DNA.

Here’s another except from the panel that delves into the fine art of zombie crafting:

A key factor of “Fear the Walking Dead” is that the audience knows much more than the characters do. One movie they referenced more than any other is Invasion of the Body Snatchers with camera angles that are extreme and unsettling… more of a 1970’s feel.

Elizabeth said the characters accept and digest things at different rates. For her it’s all about trying to protect her children. Since she’s in nursing, she becomes more informed than others around her. Lorenzo added that he is an innocent dealing with an unknown element… he just knows someone is sick, but then as he learns more, it scares the shit out of him! A big question is: “Is the government for us or against us?”

Erickson joined us next and said the first season covers about 4-5 weeks. Actually catching up to the point in “TWD” when Rick wakes up is probably next season. We’ll explore how getting the characters to the point of violence takes a toll. They face moral and ethical dilemmas similar to “TWD,” but “Fear” lives on its own… it complements and respects “TWD.”

They hope to gain the audience’s sympathy, and keep their frustration at bay, through the discovery process. Different characters will be seeing different things – some will run, some will try to help the infected, and then of course they’ll have to kill them.

Alycia reiterated how it is so very much based in the real world. Her character has everything to lose – she’s very ambitious with a clear path to fill the hole of her broken family. She falls the hardest and fastest. On the other hand, Frank’s character, a drug addict, has nothing to lose, and he’s actually the first person who understands what’s going on.

What Gale told us next was music to our ears: “Believe me, there gore! This is not a sanitized show.” She said it’s more of a hybrid of horror and thriller. The audience indeed knows more than the characters, including the rules. Even so, prepare to be surprised since there’s no road map of a comic book; we have no idea where the characters will go. There’s no Alpha male like Rick or Shane from “TWD.” What we have here is a group of regular blue-collar folks, including older teenagers and young adults who are ready to fly and begin their lives.

Alpert touched upon the “Alpha” concept and delved into the characters a bit more in this final excerpt from the panel:

Mercedes reiterated the mixture of cultures coming together in a makeshift family – an amalgam of people thrown together and shaken up. Gale said that each character is on a different continuum, and things that you’d think are strengths often turn out to be weaknesses. For instance, the good samaritan would be the first to be bitten. They have to deal with a new reality now – and those in deepest denial will have the hardest time. Ruben reminded us to think about: “What would you do?,” as Gale chimed in with, “What happens when people are desperate as the world crumbles around them?”

She added that it’s wonderful for the writers to be able to write with no expectations or guidelines. It’s not a message show, but there is “subtle commentary.”

Mercedes described the show as a “living, working creature we’re feeding,” while Ruben said it’s “all about the characters [and] relationships in the midst of collapse.” It’s a slow build, like when you’re walking in the darkness and feeling your way.

Stay up-to-date on all things walker-related by visiting “The Walking Dead” on Facebook and “Fear the Walking Dead” on AMC.com.

Synopsis:
“Fear the Walking Dead” takes us back to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse – a time when the world was changing rapidly for reasons unknown, before anyone understood exactly what was happening, when life as everyone knew it was upended and altered in ways no one could have ever imagined. 

Fear the Walking Dead

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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