The Walking Dead has been teasing an upcoming crossover character between its original series and spinoff Fear The Walking Dead since October when Robert Kirkman made the announcement at New York Comic-Con. And during this week’s Talking Dead, we finally found out who it will be. Spoiler alert: don’t read on if you haven’t caught up, and don’t want to know the answer.
Despite much speculation that it might be Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), who was killed off in The Walking Dead and originated from Texas, it will actually be Morgan (Lennie James) who will move from The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead.
Check out this welcome video from James on the set of Fear the Walking Dead, where he happily notes that, now that the secret is out, he can finally leave his hotel room and explore the great city of Austin, Texas. He also took time to thank all of the fans who supported his character through the series.
Photos from James’ first day were also released, including one during a table read, alongside Colman Domingo (Victor Strand), Frank Dillane (Nick Clark), and Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark).
The crossover poses some interesting questions. Morgan is still alive on The Walking Dead, as of the most recent episode on Sunday, November 26. While James’ words as he appeared on Talking Dead via satellite suggest that his character has reached his end, showrunner Scott M. Gimple provided a more ambiguous statement for host Chris Hardwick to read. “Even though Morgan is going to be featured on Fear, he has a lot of story left on The Walking Dead,” reads the statement, which adds that his arc on The Walking Dead’s eighth season “positioned him for the story on Fear.”
The Walking Dead airs its eighth season mid-season finale on December 10, so it’s entirely possible that Morgan, who was most recently shown having a crisis of morals, will be killed off at some point before season 8 comes to an end. But it’s also possible that he remains alive. He did, after all, say following a near-fatal experience in last week’s episode: “I don’t die.”
Fear The Walking Dead takes place as a prequel, along the same timeline as The Walking Dead. Now beginning to film its fourth season today in Texas, the events would be happening around the same time as some of the early seasons of The Walking Dead. Fans will recall that Morgan disappeared for several seasons of that show, returning twice. The first time, he had gone insane following the death of his son, killing anything and anyone who crossed his path. The second time, he crossed paths again with Rick, now refusing to kill after spending time with a peaceful man who taught him Aikido and gave him his signature wooden staff. But there are holes concerning where Morgan was between these points.
Thus, either Fear the Walking Dead fills these holes, suggesting that Morgan, at some point, made his way to Mexico, California, or Texas, or the series flashes forward a few years, and we see Morgan in the present day, after he possibly leaves Rick and company. How might he arrive from Virginia? The seemingly insignificant helicopter that goes flying over Rick’s head in one of the latest episodes of The Walking Dead could explain that.
The crossover episode will air in 2018, though it’s unclear how or when we’ll see the shift.
Update: Added information about Lennie James’ impending appearance on the show.