Morgan has not exactly been what you would call a “people person” in his tenure on The Walking Dead. Sure, he was Rick’s first post-apocalyptic buddy back in the pilot episode, but since then, he’s often been either crazy, on a killing spree, or on a crazy killing spree. And lately, he’s also turned into something of a loner — occasionally appearing to go murder some Saviors, but otherwise keeping to himself.
And now it looks as if the Morgan that we will see on Fear the Walking Dead will also be keeping to himself, or at least trying to. We spoke to Scott M. Gimple, who as overseer of the AMC franchise has come on board along with new showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg for the retooled season 4, and he says that while Morgan (played by Lennie James) would still just assume be alone on the companion series, he will be forced to interact with others. Read on for more details on what to expect from Morgan and the show in general for Fear’s season 4.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What would you say is the biggest difference between the first three seasons of Fear and season 4? How is the show going to feel and look a little bit different?
SCOTT M. GIMPLE: When I brought Andrew and Ian into this thing, it was about not rolling over what Fear of the Walking Dead has been for three seasons. People dig that show. We dig that show. And we weren’t looking to lose things as much as add things, to add and integrate certain story values from The Walking Dead that come from the comic, that come from the pilot of the show, which continues to be the Rosetta Stone and the way that we’ve been telling stories all these years. We want Fear the Walking Dead to be completely its own thing, but to have some aspects of it — just the approach to storytelling that feels like the comic and the pilot and I guess the show itself. And so it was just sort of integrating new approaches while keeping so much of the stuff that’s great.
You’ve been the Morgan guy, writing most of his big episodes over the years. How does him moving over to the other show in the other place with the other people change his story in terms of where he goes from here?
Well, to land where he does when he does from where he is in his own life, and then where the other people’s lives are, it’s going to change him and he’s going to change other people. And in some ways, it’s for better, and in some ways for worse, but in many ways, he doesn’t want to be with people. And he’s reluctantly connecting with these people. He doesn’t want to, and it challenges what he wants for himself currently.
The thing that has been so exciting about seeing Morgan interacting with these characters, is that there is so much emotionally at stake with all these interactions. There’s a lot of gravity to it. Nobody is just passing each other a sandwich. Yeah, I love Morgan’s story, and it’s a story that I’ve worked on a great deal and have spent a lot of the last few years thinking about. And him moving onto Fear was just about telling more of his story and the way that his story could activate certain things in those Fear characters and these new characters.
How much of the season 4 focus will be on the new characters — because there are a lot of them — and how much will be on the Clark family and characters that have already been there?
It is absolutely about the interplay of those characters. It’s like putting together a rock band or something like that. People have to be able to work with each other. They have to have a chemistry. The characters, just from a narrative point of view, have to offer different things and bring out different things in each other. And I’ve been really excited to see the band that we have because seeing them all play together has been exciting. When you look at Nick, Luciana, or Alicia, or Madison — even just where the characters are themselves as O.G. characters, they start in a very different place than we left them. I’ve been really, really excited with every episode that we finish.
I will say, Mikey Satrazemis, the producing director down there, big Walking Dead alumni — and will still be working on Walking Dead directing — what he’s brought to it down there has been amazing. And I love working with Andrew and Ian, and the things that they push forward and bring to bear.
Also make sure to read Gimple’s comments about the upcoming Walking Dead season finale, which he says will be a “conclusion of the first eight seasons.” And for more TWD & Fear scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.