10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
AMC's 'Walking Dead' Prequel: All the Details (So Far)
While the drama — currently in the pilot stage — has been referred to by the network as a "companion" series, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that it is indeed a prequel. The project, also known as Cobalt, takes place in Los Angeles at the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. For non-comics readers, Robert Kirkman's graphic novels have never explored the origins of the zombie apocalypse. Sources tell THR that an early script features one character who briefly appeared during a key season one episode.
Kirkman, who created The Walking Dead comic series, is co-writing the pilot with Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy). They'll exec produce alongside Walking Dead's Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert. Erickson will serve as showrunner, while Adam Davidson will direct the pilot.
Here's what we know so far about Cobalt. Bookmark this page and we'll continue to update it as more information becomes available.
The female lead — the role of Nancy Tomkins, a guidance counselor who works at the school with Sean and is seeing him romantically, will be played by Gone Girl and Sons of Anarchy alum Kim Dickens. Sources told THR that Anna Torv (Fringe) was among the actresses who were seen for the part, though she is no longer considered to be in the running for it.
Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) co-stars as Nancy's son Nick, who has battled a drug problem; and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Woods) is set as Nancy's ambitious daughter Ashley, who is the polar opposite of Nick and has dreams of leaving L.A. for Berkeley when the apocalypse strikes.
The Walking Dead prequel is also currently casting a number of supporting roles:
Cody: Sean's son, who resents his father for splitting from his mother; he is described as the angriest kid in town.
Andrea: Sean's ex-wife, who moved with Cody to the outskirts of L.A.; she is best described as a flower child.
Matt: Ashley's jock boyfriend.
Art: The principal at the school where both Sean and Nancy work, who has concerns about the bizarre outbreak featured on the local news.
Tobias: A wise-beyond-his-years senior at the school who believes the outbreak is Doomsday.
Casper: Nick's drug-dealing best friend.
AMC declined comment about the location, premise and character descriptions. The cable network has only confirmed that the Walking Dead companion has received a pilot green light.