The undead on Fear the Walking Dead are allegedly going to be scarier than the rotters, roamers, and bloated floaters on The Walking Dead. However, the pretty L.A. people eaters might not prove to be the best aspect of the show. Frank Dillane is already receiving praise for his performance as a drug-addicted misfit, and it looks like he could become the next Norman Reedus by doing something that Reedus was afraid to do.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fear the Walking Dead showrunner Dave Erickson explained why the zombies in the prequel-esque companion series will be more frightening than the disintegrating undead that populate Fear’s parent series. According to Erickson, “fresh” zombies pose a bigger threat because they don’t look like monsters yet — everyone simply assumes that their infected friends and neighbors are sick. This makes the clueless easy prey.
“The reality is this: We’re so early in the apocalypse that when people are infected and walkers turn they seem, for all intents and purposes, human,” Erickson revealed. “They haven’t broken down and atrophied, they don’t look monstrous.”
According to Collider, the Fear the Walking Dead zombies won’t be called “walkers” — they’ll be referred to as “the infected.” The living don’t know that the infected have to be put down via headshot (or head removal), and Erickson says that it will take “a little bit of time” for them to “wrap their brains around what the hell is going on.”
Survivors who encounter the infected will first assume that they’re sick or on drugs, and it just so happens that one of the main characters is actually is a drug addict. Frank Dillane, one of the many actors who portrayed Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies, is playing a heroin addict named Nick Clark in Fear. He’s the son of high school guidance counselor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), and he has a sister named Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey).
Nick’s drug addiction could be a hint that his character is meant to become the Daryl Dixon of Fear the Walking Dead. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Norman Reedus’ beloved biker boy was supposed to have a drug problem, but Reedus convinced the powers-that-be to make Daryl more likable by cutting this character trait. It looks like it’s now being passed on to Nick Clark, and Frank Dillane thinks that being hooked on heroin might actually help his character survive the zombie apocalypse just as long as Daryl Dixon has.
“I think he’s already been living with life and death and all that,” Dillane said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Like, if you’re an addict, you only have one concern and one worry, and that’s where am I going to get my next fix from.”
“We all have thousands of worries and paranoias and all this stuff, but Nick only has one concern and that’s life or death. Heroin, the cells in your body die and are born depending on your fix… So you’re constantly living in a state of life and death and being born and dying.”
Just like Daryl Dixon, Nick Clark is going to be a rebel who has a tough time fitting in with his family of survivors — his guidance counselor mom is engaged to a teacher (Cliff Curtis), and his sister is an over-achiever. Everyone around him seems to have it together, but he’s a junkie college flunkie. Norman Reedus quickly became a favorite with The Walking Dead’s female fans by being a good-looking bad boy, and it appears as though Fear the Walking Dead is shamelessly trying to appeal to women by opening its latest behind-the-scenes video with shots of Frank Dillane’s bare chest. The lighting, the ripped white blouse, and the church setting almost give the clip below an Interview with the Vampire vibe. It looks like a scene from a romance novel, but the beautiful girl that Nick encounters is a blood-covered zombie.
According to Den of Geek, Frank Dillane proves that he’s an “incredibly talented” actor in the Fear the Walking Dead premiere, and he turns in the “best performance” of the episode. It sounds like he might have Norman Reedus wishing that he hadn’t campaigned for Daryl Dixon to drop his drug habit.
Fear the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, August 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Do you think Frank Dillane will become the Norman Reedus of the new series?
[Image credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC]