Now that season 5 of The Walking Dead is on a mid-season hiatus until February, we probably won’t hear as much on that front as usual. There will still be quick peeks and bits of news, but likely not the constant glut that we get in the thick of new episodes. One thing we do have some fresh news on, however, is the slow burning spinoff. We’ve seen character descriptions, but now it has two cast members to fill those roles, as well as a shiny new title.
According to Deadline, Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey have both been cast in the pilot of the new series, which is now titled Cobalt. You have to imagine that the full official name is The Walking Dead: Cobalt, or something like that in order to capitalize on the popularity of the core show, but right now the report simply refers to it as Cobalt. Dillane is going to be most recognizable as the 16-year-old Tom Riddle from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, while the Australian Debnam Carey made her U.S. debut this past summer in Into the Storm. She was also cast in the AMC pilot Galyntine, which the network recently passed on.
Cobalt is set in the same world as The Walking Dead, though in a different location. We’ve been told it’s not Georgia—nothing against the Peach Tree State, but the main show hasn’t strayed too far from there, so they’ve got that setting covered—and comic creator and series executive producer Robert Kirkman said that it isn’t France, despite that country being mentioned in a season 5 episode.
The character descriptions we’ve seen indicate the action will be headed by the Cabrera family, led by Sean, “A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life,” and by the Tompkins family, with matriarch Nancy, described as “A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.” She is also apparently a guidance counselor. Dillane will play Nick Tompkins, Nancy’s son, a screw up who is fighting with drug addiction, while Debnam Carey is Ashley, Nancy’s ambitious, yet levelheaded daughter.
Right now the title Cobalt doesn’t mean anything to us, though it will hopefully gain some significance as we get closer and closer. Maybe it takes place in a town called Cobalt. Whereas the main series dropped viewers into the middle of the world gone to hell, the spinoff sounds like we’re going to get to see the origins of this and possibly watch the walker epidemic begin and spread. If nothing else, that will offer a new way for fans to look at this world.
Kirkman and Sons of Anarchy’s Dave Erickson created the show, while Adam Davidson will direct the pilot. Filming on the first episode is expected to get underway before the end of the year, which means we’ll likely be meeting some other survivors before too awful long, and we expect to see the series for ourselves sometime in 2015.