Fear the Walking Dead s4: everything you need to know

Ben Lee
Photo credit: AMC

From Digital Spy

Fear the Walking Dead surprised everyone this past year, enjoying a creative peak as the third season fired on all cylinders.

The acclaimed run led to some fans saying that the prequel is now officially better than the original series.

Even though Dave Erickson departed as showrunner after the finale, the future looks bright – but what can Fear fans expect from the fourth season? From the cast to the Walking Dead crossover, here's everything you need to know.

Photo credit: AMC

Fear the Walking Dead season 4 air date: When is the premiere?

Fear the Walking Dead was renewed for a fourth season in April 2017, with Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg taking over from Dave Erickson as showrunners. Chambliss and Goldberg previously worked on ABC's Once Upon a Time.

In addition, Scott M Gimple – showrunner on the original Walking Dead series – has been added as an executive producer.

The number of episodes and premiere air date have yet to be announced, but if it's anything like season three, we can expect 16 episodes (split into two halves) and a launch sometime in the spring or summer next year – after The Walking Dead's season eight concludes.

Filming began in November 2017 in Austin, Texas.

Photo credit: AMC

Fear the Walking Dead season 4 cast: Who will be back, and did Troy survive?

12 actors were series regulars for season three. As you can see below, a bloodbath ensued and half of the main characters were killed off.

- Kim Dickens (Madison)

- Cliff Curtis (Travis)

- Frank Dillane (Nick)

- Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia)

- Colman Domingo (Victor Strand)

- Mercedes Mason (Ofelia)

- Danay Garcia (Luciana)

- Daniel Sharman (Troy)

- Sam Underwood (Jake)

- Lisandra Tena (Lola)

- Dayton Callie (Jeremiah)

- Ruben Blades (Daniel)

Yes, even though a lot of fans are hopeful that Troy is still alive, he is definitely dead – having been brutally hit in the head with a hammer twice by Madison in season 3 episode 15. Season 3 showrunner Dave Erickson confirmed this, even though he did consider the possibility of keeping the villain alive.

Photo credit: AMC

"The truth of the matter is, he deserved it," Erickson said. "If anybody on our show deserved to go, it was Troy."

(Side-note: Daniel Sharman is shooting Medici: Masters of Florence season 2 until the end of 2017.)

As for the characters who are not confirmed dead yet, the fates of five out of the six remain up in the air by the season's end.

Madison is the only one who is 100% alive. She was seen emerging from the water, dragging herself to the safety of dry land after the dam blew up in season 3 episode 16.

Photo credit: AMC

Alicia and Strand, on the lifeboat with Madison when it capsized in the flood, were viciously pulled underwater as well in the big climax of the finale, but have not been spotted since.

Photo credit: AMC

Nick and Daniel were last seen on top of the dam as it was destroyed, as Nick triggered the explosives to avoid letting the Proctors gain control. Did they manage to make it off the crumbling dam alive?

Photo credit: AMC

We've not seen any real indication that Alicia, Strand, Nick, and Daniel are dead – no corpses, for example (although Daniel did get shot in the face a little earlier) – and Erickson said after the finale aired that had he stayed on, these characters would have definitely survived. So we can tentatively assume that they are all still alive.

In fact, Debnam-Carey, Dillane, and Domingo were all present at the table read for the season premiere.

Lastly, Luciana hasn't been seen (Madison's dreams aside) since season 3 episode 5, when she left the Otto ranch. Her fate unknown, it is unclear if she will pull a Morales in season 4 or if she has been properly written out.

Photo credit: AMC

This Instagram snap may provide a clue as to what Danay Garcia's involvement will be this coming season – but be warned, this is a potential spoiler.

With so many outgoing characters, it's no surprise that the show is bringing some fresh faces in. Below are the actors confirmed to be joining the zombie drama as series regulars:

- Garret Dillahunt

- Jenna Elfman

- Maggie Grace

- Lennie James (Morgan Jones)

Details surrounding the first three actors' roles are being kept secret for the time being, but huge Walking Dead fan Garret Dillahunt once auditioned to play the part of Negan, and although Jenna Elfman is more known for her comedic roles, she has branched out into drama with success (see: Damages).

Maggie Grace is perhaps best known on TV for her role as Shannon Rutherford on Lost.

We do know who Lennie James will playing, though. Yes, original Walking Dead character Morgan Jones is crossing over to Fear – more on that later.

Elsewhere, Kevin Zegers has been cast as a new character in the fourth season.

Photo credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The ranch and the dam may have both been destroyed, but as season 4 relocates north, there are a few recurring characters from season 3 who against all odds managed to reach the end alive – and who could feasibly be brought back.

The most obvious characters who could resurface are Native American enemies-turned-allies Qaletaqa (Michael Greyeyes) and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain). They were last seen in the finale leaving the dam just before the Proctors struck – but at a critical moment in the stand-off, they provided assistance to Nick from afar, thanks to Crazy Dog's... crazy sniping skills.

Photo credit: AMC

They departed, assuming that Madison and everybody else had died, and headed "north" – which is the direction the main characters will have to travel if they're to reach Texas.

Speaking of the Proctors, they are led by 'Proctor John' (Ray McKinnon). He was set up as the next potential Big Bad, with episodes 15 and 16 revealing the large force he has under his power and his intention to open up a trade route which includes Houston, Texas.

Photo credit: AMC

He was last seen fleeing the dam as it was blown up, and if Nick and Daniel ended up surviving then there's no reason why John couldn't have escaped with his life, either.

Alicia also made an ally when she temporarily set off by herself in episodes 14 and 15; Diana (Edwina Findley) is still alive, albeit with a broken leg.

The Walking Dead crossover: Morgan will appear in Fear the Walking Dead season 4

After much speculation, AMC announced that Lennie James would be leaving The Walking Dead after season 8's conclusion to join Fear the Walking Dead season 4 in an exciting crossover.

His first day shooting was on Monday, November 26. "I'm really looking forward to exploring Morgan in a whole different world, with different characters, in a different place," James said on Talking Dead, the day before.

Photo credit: Richard Foreman / AMC

The character's move to the spin-off show would help to explain why Scott Gimple has signed on as an executive producer for the fourth season.

Morgan was a fairly unexpected choice, as much of the speculation focused on the possibility of Michael Cudlitz returning as Abraham to shed light into his life in Texas before joining up with Eugene and Rosita.

Other theories included Fear characters Madison, Nick, or Qaletaqa popping up in The Walking Dead season 9 as part of the Whisperers.

Photo credit: Richard Foreman / AMC

[Above: Lennie James on his first day on the Fear the Walking Dead set]

Now that Morgan has been confirmed, the big question lies in the timeline and how his character will slot in.

Fear is the prequel to The Walking Dead, which suggests that we'll be seeing Morgan between the season 1 premiere (when he first met Rick) and the season 5 premiere (when he was seen tracking Rick, eventually to Alexandria).

It could mean we'll be seeing Crazy Morgan ('Clear') once more.

There's also the possibility that Fear will have a major time jump and actually position season 4 chronologically after The Walking Dead season 8. This would mean Morgan would survive the events of The Walking Dead season 8 and part with Rick.

A theory is going around that the helicopter Rick saw in The Walking Dead season 8 episode 5 belongs to the Fear crew. Unlikely perhaps, but interesting nonetheless.

Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episodes: What will happen?

Story details are incredibly sparse at this stage, but with filming now taking place in Texas – and with Proctor John name-dropping Houston as well – it seems incredibly likely that the Fear group will be travelling north and out of Mexico.

Former showrunner Dave Erickson is no longer part of the show, but he did share how he envisioned future seasons would go down.

Specifically, he would have had Madison continue to descend the dark path she has already been on during season 3. By season 7, she would have become a Negan-like villain, which would have put her at odds against Nick and Alicia.

Photo credit: AMC

Now that Fear has different showrunners at the helm, Erickson's original plan may never become reality.

But it is a deliciously dark and intriguing series arc that we wouldn't mind at all if they wanted to continue what Erickson started...

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