Frank Dillane wanted to leave Fear the Walking Dead

Frank Dillane as Nick Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
Frank Dillane as Nick Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC /

Fear the Walking Dead fans were shocked by Nick Clark’s death on the show, but it turns out he had asked to leave back in season 3.

It’s always hard to lose a character in The Walking Dead world, and Nick Clark’s unexpected exit from Fear the Walking Dead was hard to watch in a lot of ways. Then, on Talking Dead, we learned that Frank Dillane wanted to leave the show and that new showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg were forced to write him out in season 4.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Chambliss had this to say about Dillane’s departure:

"“It actually goes back to season three, before Ian and I even came aboard. Frank Dillane had asked the producers and AMC if he could leave the show, because he wanted to pursue other opportunities. One of the first things we were tasked with when we came on to run season four was to really find a story that would give Nick a fitting sendoff. He’s been with the show from day one, so it was very important to us and to Frank to find a death for him that was emotional and one that would ripple forward throughout the storytelling.”  More from Undead WalkingWalking Dead alum Jayson Warner Smith promotes new film, Chipper, watch it nowWalking Dead actor Chandler Riggs filming new movie in Tampa BayWhy is there no season 12 of The Walking Dead?Will Morgan Jones find Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live spinoff?Watch Tales of TWD actress Jillian Bell in Prime Video’s Candy Cane Lane"

If anything, it might have been better to announce Dillane’s departure in advance. While it would have eliminated the shock value of Nick’s death, it would have given fans a chance to prepare and fans would have a better understanding of why the original character was killed off. On a show where deaths are served up on a regular basis, seeing an original cast member leave is hard to deal with, but knowing that the actor made the decision himself softens the blow a bit.

Fortunately, though, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Nick Clark. We still have Nick in the past, and Goldberg insists that there is still a lot of story to tell:

"“It’s safe to say that there’s a lot more story to tell with Nick. We understand, to a certain degree, why he’s so driven and why he’s so violent toward Ennis in this episode. We kind of see the buttons Ennis pushes in him, whether it’s the fact that Nick essentially lost Charlie to this other family, the Vultures. He taunted Nick about keeping his family fed, playing on Nick’s feelings of failure about the crops dying. There’s more story to be told with Nick that we think will provide some emotional context for why he’s such a different person when we find him in the present day story, than how we’ve seen him in the Diamond.”"

Clearly we’re dealing with two time periods in season 4 and the past certainly informs the present. We need to understand why Nick was so upset with Ennis when he saw him again. Does it have something to do with Madison’s absence?

The good news is that while Nick is dead in the present, he’s still alive in the past and it looks like we’ll see more of him before Frank Dillane is gone for good.

Next: Review of Fear the Walking Dead 403: Good Out Here

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.