Q & A with Gale Anne Hurd | FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

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After the Season 2 premiere, STARBURST attended a special Q&A with Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer of Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead. Gale also produced Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss (working with ex-husband James Cameron) and was once an executive assistant to Roger Corman.

We asked Gale what the similarities and differences were to The Walking Dead:

The similarities are we follow the Kirkman rules of the zombie apocalypse. For example, there are no super-fast zombies and you still ‘die’ if you’re bitten or scratched. Everyone is infected.

The differences – setting it in LA – the urban environment. There’s no-one from law enforcement in this group. No-one used to being in authority … no natural leaders or weapons experts. Although there is Victor Strand – what is he? Also young adults haven’t really been explored like this on The Walking Dead.

Other questions included:

What are the challenges of filming on a boat?

Thanks to our set designer, ‘Abigail’ was built in a matter of weeks. We used a 22 million gallon tank that James Cameron used for Titanic.

Addressing the series being set on a boat.

What is Victor Strand’s agenda? It’s his boat – there’s tension. There are complicated relationships that make great drama. The theme is blood versus bond, for example Ophelia’s relationship with her father, now she knows what he really is. There are some new ground rules; zombies can’t swim or climb but they can float and wade. They can’t drown, obviously, so there’s the threat of both sharks and zombies (Would they eat each other? - JA).

On the longer season, which The Walking Dead Season 2 also adopted.

There’s a longer season which is split. Dougray Scott is going to join the cast. This answers the idea of ‘screw staying on land – I’m going to get on a boat’. There’s ‘no safe harbour’ (the tagline of the series).

Gale also urged viewers to watch webisode Flight 462 which ‘answers the plane question’.

You haven’t done anything with James Cameron since The Abyss, why is that?

James has a contract with 20th Century Fox and I have one with Universal. We’re still great friends.

Will there be another spin-off, for example in London or Paris?

Right now we have our hands full, but never say never.

Who is your favourite character in the Walking Dead universe?

Carol, because she started out as an abused wife and lost her child but found strength. She was meant to be killed off in Season 2 but we kept bringing her back. She’s like ‘average’ Sarah Connor (from the Terminator films) who has to save the world.

Could you make the tough decisions in a zombie apocalypse, for example have to kill family members? What would you do?

I love the fact it’s total fiction! If it were real, I’d get behind Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) on his bike…


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