With the season 5 return of AMC‘s Fear the Walking Dead now well less than two weeks away, it would a righteous understatement to say that fans are excited to see what goes down when Lennie James‘ Morgan and Austin Amelio’s Dwight have their The Walking Dead reunion this season. Now, series showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss are offering a fresh look at Dwight’s return as part of their exclusive sit-down with the fine folks at Entertainment Weekly to discuss the crossover character’s future and other aspects of the season.
Here are some highlights:
● Taking place several months later, viewers should buckle up, since the fifth season begins “right in the middle of one of these help missions” to give them a crash course on how things have evolved since we last saw our folks.
“We’re going to see that the group has gone to some pretty extreme measures to carry out their goals to help someone in need. It’s going to take them to an entirely new and strange and dangerous environment that they’ve never been to before. It may involve a plane, and we’re going to see the difficulties that their mission presents, but also the internal things that our characters are dealing with that are maybe preventing them from fully living.”
– Ian Goldberg
● As for the season’s storyline stucture, Chambliss shared that the two halves of the season will each still tell their own stories – but the opening eight will move our heroes directly into the second-half:
“There’s going to be a through-line in the entire season in terms of our characters’ overall mission, but how it affects them and how it affects others, that is something that is going to change from the front half of the season to the back half of the season.”
● As for the role Dwight will play this season? Like many in the Walking Dead universe, Goldberg believes it’s about atonement for the past while trying to carve out a better, brighter future – and seeing if that’s something Dwight has within him to make a reality:
“…anyone who knows Dwight’s story on The Walking Dead, he is someone who did a lot of bad things over his time as a Savior. He hurt a lot of people, he did a lot of things he regrets, but he was given a second chance by Daryl at the end of season 8 when Daryl spared his life and sent him away and told him to find Sherry and to make it right. That’s the last we saw of Dwight on The Walking Dead, and we’re going to see how that’s been going for him and if he’s been able to achieve either of those things that Daryl told him to do.”
Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group’s mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what’s left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.
But trust won’t be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 1 “Here to Help”: The group faces unexpected dangers when they land in uncharted territory in search of survivors.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 2 “The Hurt That Will Happen”: Morgan and Alicia meet a survivor; the group struggles to achieve their goal; Strand makes contact.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 3 “Humbug’s Gulch”: June and Dorie take shelter to hide from a threat and encounter a desperate survivor.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 4 “Skidmark”: Charlie makes a new friend; Strand’s rescue mission hits a snag.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 5 “The End of Everything”: Althea chases a story with dogged determination, putting the mission, and her life in danger.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 6 “The Little Prince”: Luciana and the group face the enormity of their task with determination.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 7 “Still Standing”: Strand and Charlie seek safety; Dorie helps Dwight; Morgan and Alicia focus on the mission.
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 8 “Is Anybody Out There?”: The group fights against the clock; Sarah and Wendell get help from an unexpected source.
Earlier this year, FTWD cast member Alexa Nisenson (ex-Vulture Charlie) was promoted from recurring to series regular for the upcoming season. Joining Nisenson are Karen David (Legacies, Galavant) as series regular Grace, The Walking Dead alum Austin Amelio reprising ex-Savior Dwight, and the returning Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar. Bailey Gavulic (Prodigal, At The End Of The Day) will play young survivor Annie, who ends up crossing paths with our crew. Cooper Dodson‘s (American Horror Story, Preacher) Dylan and Ethan Suess‘ (Scorpion, Henry Danger) Max are two additional new survivors this season, though what their connection to Gavulic’s Annie (if any) is still unclear. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, The Stand, Watchmen) is also joining the cast this season, but in an undisclosed role.
Nisenson, David, Blades, Amelio, Gavulic, Dodson, Suess, and Frewer join Dwight’s crossover comrade Morgan (Lennie James) on the upcoming season of The Walking Dead spin-off series, which has undergone some major changes over the past year. Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, Mo Collins, and Daryl Mitchell joined James on the series last season; with Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, and Danay Garcia the only original cast members heading into the fifth season. As we saw from the images above, Cooper Dodson is on board as Dylan, Ethan Suess plays Max, and Bailey Gavulic plays Annie. Daniel Sharman is reportedly reprising his role as Troy Otto, though how his character will come into play during the upcoming season is still unknown.
AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead is executive produced by showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, as well as Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero, and produced by AMC Studios.
Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT – leading into the series premiere of fantasy-horror series adaptation NOS4A2, based on Joe Hill‘s novel.