Post-apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead has grown too big and too successful to be contained in just one show, and so AMC is expanding the universe with a new spinoff series (currently being produced under the working title Cobalt) that will focus on a new group of survivors trying to stay alive in the changing landscape of America. There will be six survivors in the main group, made up of two small families and a loner, but this group could easily expand (or shrink) as the series continues.
The principal cast of Cobalt includes Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey , and will be written and produced by Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) and Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman. Since the show is set in the same universe as The Walking Dead, there has been speculation as to whether or not it could feature cameo appearances from the main show’s characters, but the latest details seem to rule that out.
According to a TVLine report, the pilot episode will be shot in early 2015 and the series will be set in Los Angeles. This matches with Kirkman’s earlier insistence that the spinoff won’t be set in Georgia, and Los Angeles is definitely an interesting setting for a new story arc. Perhaps Zombie Bill Murray will show up again.
Other plot rumors point to Cobalt being set earlier on in the zombie apocalypse – potentially chronicling it from the very start, when the government infrastructure was still intact and efforts were being made to contain it. Since The Walking Dead began with Rick Grimes waking up from a coma after the initial chaos had died down and the country was already in tatters, there’s still a lot of story from early on in the outbreak that’s yet to be told.
In addition to exploring another part of the country, Cobalt could also be a more urban take on the world of The Walking Dead, since the main show has largely been set in rural or remote locations like Hershel’s farm and the prison (there’s been a lot of time spent walking through woods). The closest that The Walking Dead has come to a setting like Los Angeles is the first season’s trips to Atlanta, Georgia, which demonstrated that cities are pretty dangerous places to be due to their high zombie population.
Of course, Cobalt could be set on the outskirts or suburbs of L.A. and the series may not even be filmed on location, but it would certainly be interesting to see Kirkman and Erickson’s take on what Hollywood would look like in the early days of the zombie epidemic.
Cobalt (or whatever it ends up being titled) is expected to premiere in 2015.