Such is the addictive nature of zombie franchise The Walking Dead that it cannot be contained in merely a comic book series, a hit TV show and several video games (including an ongoing critically-acclaimed episodic game). The TV universe is set to expand this summer in Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff series on AMC which will be set in Los Angeles at the very start of the zombie outbreak.
Fear the Walking Dead's pilot has already been shot and the main cast has been assembled. That cast includes Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Mercedes Mason as series regulars, with Sons of Anarchy writer/producer David Erickson acting as showrunner.
AMC has now annouonced the start of production on the remaining episodes of Fear the Walking Dead season one in Vancouver, with additional filming set to take place in Los Angeles at a later date (presumably to get those shots of the city that Vancouver can't fake). The first season will consist of six one-hour episodes, and co-executive producer Adam Davidson (Community) is directing the first three episodes.
In addition to the announcement, AMC has also released a production video featuring interviews with Erickson, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and executive producers Gale Ann Hurd and Greg Nicotero. The video mainly consists of these people talking about how awesome Fear the Walking Dead is going to be, but there are also a few glimpses of scenes being shot that make it worth a watch.
"'Fear the Walking Dead' takes us back to the earlier, more dangerous, more terrifying days of ‘The Walking Dead,'" said Kirkman in a statement accompanying AMC's announcement. "We’re going to show people all the insanity of civilization crumbling that Rick Grimes slept through."
All we've seen of Fear the Walking Dead is a brief teaser in which a news station jovially warns Los Angeles of a strange bug going around. Anyone who's seen a zombie movie before knows how fast things can unravel (the wretched world that Rick Grimes wakes up in is only a few weeks into the epidemic), and a major city packed with a thriving population of people and zombies is bound to get pretty chaotic, pretty fast.
Fear the Walking Dead will premiere on AMC this summer.