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AMC’s The Walking Dead is on a break right now, but that’s never stopped the network from hyping their massively popular zombie drama. But right now there’s even more to talk about beyond new casting and possible future storylines, because things are about to get rolling on the long gestating spinoff series, currently known as Cobalt. Set in the same world as the flagship series, the new adventures go down in a different place, follow new characters, and reportedly even show an earlier era of the undead apocalypse. Cobalt co-creator, and Walking Dead executive producer (he also created the comics the series is based on), Robert Kirkman recently sat down and discussed some of the differences between the two shows.
We know that the action in Cobalt takes place in Los Angeles, the opposite side of the country from the Georgia-based The Walking Dead. It follows Sean Cabrera (Cliff Curtis), Nancy Tompkins (Kim Dickens), her kids Nick (Frank Dillane) and Ashley (Alycia Debnam Carey), and others. While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman kept specifics to himself, while driving home how distinct the two shows will be. He said:
I will say that this is going to be a show about family. But it’s going to be a show about a different type of family that we haven’t explored in The Walking Dead thus far. So what we’re trying to do with The Walking Dead spinoff is keep the story as familiar as possible for people that love The Walking Dead, so you’ll get the kind of things that you expect from a Walking Dead story. But, at the same time, we’ll want to tell these stories in a completely different way with completely different people in a completely different setting that’s going to make for a fundamentally different show. I think the look and feel of The Walking Dead spinoff is going to be startlingly different.
While the core series generally sticks to the woods and more rural environs—the recent excursion to Atlanta notwithstanding—the urban LA setting is going to provide a stark contrast. It’ll be nice to see a different slice of the post-zombie life, to see how other people in other places have continued to survive, something that fans of the series have called for from time to time. Kirkman says:
It’s Los Angeles. It’s a corner of the world that we have never explored in the comic book series. So, theoretically, something like this could be happening in Los Angeles in the comic book series, but we don’t show you this area of the country in the comic book series. So it fits within that world, but it is all new characters, all new events and all kinds of crazy stuff.
Kirkman worked with Dave Erickson, who will serve as showrunner, to create Cobalt, and doing something different has always been part of the plan. There have been rumblings that we could see some familiar characters from the main series show up, though set earlier time, if that does happen, it’ll have to be a younger version, not to mention at least hint at how they get across the country. While we don’t know exactly when we might first see Cobalt, it will likely debut later this fall.