New ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff Details Suggest Less Bleak Show

Source: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

source: AMC

More details are beginning to come out about the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff as the show continues to slay TV ratings like zombies and keep viewers on their toes with shocking plot twists. The show is currently in its fifth season and has been a ratings juggernaut since it aired back in 2010; a rarity for a show airing on cable TV. AMC hasn’t been one to rest on its laurels with capitalizing on the show’s success – a spinoff with the original creator of the graphic novel on which the show is based has been ordered for a pilot. It’s hard to imagine any reason why the new show, which The Hollywood Reporter says is currently titled Cobalt, won’t be picked up as a series.

The spinoff has long been planned to take place in the same zombie-infested universe, just in a different location and with different characters than The Walking Dead. The Wrap’s inside sources have said the new show will take place in Los Angeles and backed up previous reports that it will be a prequel, taking place at the beginning of the zombie outbreak rather than after the country has been almost completely ravaged by it. Sons of Anarchy’s Dave Erickson has been tapped as the showrunner.

“There are many corners of The Walking Dead universe that remain unseen in the shadows,” the producer of both series and writer of the original comics, Robert Kirkman, said to Entertainment Weekly when the pilot was ordered.

Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill. I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of The Walking Dead, and I’m happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them.

The network is keeping quiet as to details on the new show, but some things about Cobalt are circulating online. First, New Zealand native Cliff Curtis has been cast in the lead role of Sean Cabrera, a man described as someone who tries to “do right by everyone in his life.”

The Hollywood Reporter rustled up some other character descriptions as well, all parts that will be highly sought after roles given the success of the original show. Cabrera’s ex-wife Andrea is a former flower child who lives on the outskirts of L.A. with their son, Cody. Cody is smart and very bitter over his parents’ divorce, described as the angriest person in the city.

The lead female role of Nancy Tompkins, a guidance counselor who works at the local high school with Cabrera, has yet to be cast. Frank Dillane of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Alycia Debnam Carey of Into the Woods have been cast as Tompkins’ two very different children.

It seems like the creators, including the story’s original mastermind Kirkman, are trying to make Cobalt different enough from The Walking Dead that fans can watch both shows without getting tired of too much zombie gore. Even if they miss the mark and the two shows end up being very similar to each other, fans are so crazy about The Walking Dead, there’s a good chance they would be happy to get two helpings of the show each week.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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