WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Fear The Walking Dead season 3
After handing over the duty of showrunner on Fear The Walking Dead, Dave Erickson has revealed that his original long-term plan for protagonist Madison Clark was for her to turn into a Governor or Negan-style villain. Fear The Walking Dead recently wrapped up its third season under Erickson but moving forward, those reins will be handed over to Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, with The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple acting as executive producer.
Despite originally feeling like an ensemble piece, the last season and a half of Fear The Walking Dead has seen Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) emerge as the show's bona fide lead protagonist with parallels being drawn between her and The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes. The zombie apocalypse has forced Madison to become a radically different person and she has adapted quickly to her new surroundings, developing a ruthless focus to protect herself and her family from harm.
Having now stepped away from Fear The Walking Dead, Erickson has claimed that his original seven-season vision for the show had Madison gradually transform into a genuine villain. Speaking with THR, Erickson was asked if there was any character he had penciled-in to survive until the very end, to which he replied:
"For me, Madison. The thing that's interesting to me, and one of the questions I asked myself and asked Robert Kirkman very on was of the people in our group, who do you see becoming the Governor? Of our group, who could become a Negan? That's interesting to me, to watch an evolution of a character and start with them as a hero, and bleed that into antihero, and bleed that into full-on villain."
Of course, with Erickson no longer in charge, Fear The Walking Dead will likely go in a different direction as Chambliss and Goldberg implement their own ideas and stories. However, the fall of Madison is something that could potentially be retained from Erickson's original plan. The season 3 finale has arguably already set the character on this very path with Madison's cold-blooded killing of Troy Otto. After the scene, it was clear that Madison's son Nick had some concerns over how far his mother was willing to go in order to protect her family.
As Erickson himself suggests, watching a character transform from hero to villain over the course of several seasons would be a fascinating long term arc to watch and with Nick perhaps set to eventually take over the lead protagonist role, the final Fear The Walking Dead season could have potentially seen the Mother and Son duo forced into conflict.
There is, however, another form a villainous Madison could take: that of The Walking Dead baddie Alpha. In the The Walking Dead comics, Alpha is the next big antagonist after Negan and a brutal, survival-centric woman that has adopted a more primitive way of life with her community, The Whisperers. The only thing Alpha truly cares for is her teenage daughter, Lydia. Under the right circumstances, it's easy to see how Madison could morph into Alpha and Alicia could even fill in the role of Lydia if both actresses were willing to switch shows. Perhaps Fear The Walking Dead has simply been one huge, very expensive set-up for the appearance of The Whisperers in The Walking Dead.
Fear The Walking Dead season 4 has been confirmed by AMC.