EW can exclusively report that AMC has officially ordered a pilot set in the same zombie-plagued universe as TV’s top-rated drama series. The as-yet-untitled project will go into production later this year, and will be set in a different location than the original series and star a new cast of characters. (Since the characters are different, the series not technically a “spinoff.”)
The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert are all on board for the new project. Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) was tapped as showrunner back in March. Kirkman and Erickson recently turned in a pilot script, which we’re told really impressed AMC’s executive ranks.
“Almost from the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most. Obviously, we all take our stewardship of the original franchise incredibly seriously and we, along with Robert, Gale, David and now Dave, are all proceeding with extreme care in order to ensure that we are offering fans something truly compelling, engaging and distinct. We’re thrilled to be taking this next step with these remarkable partners.”
AMC has not released any details about the series, except that it will be set somewhere other than Georgia. “There are many corners of The Walking Dead universe that remain unseen in the shadows,” Kirkman said. “Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill. I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of The Walking Dead, and I’m happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them.”
The proposed series has been in development since last year. Kirkman told IGN: “It definitely won’t be set in Georgia—I can at least say that. It’s important to us that this show exists on its own. The spinoff has to be a show worthy of existing, or else we’ve all sold out. So that’s something we’re all working hard towards doing, and I think we can pull it off. I think that the ideal situation is, when you’re watching the spinoff, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is a really awesome show.'”
The Walking Dead returns for its fifth season on Oct. 12. For more, be sure to check out Dalton Ross’ full coverage of the upcoming season, such as the cast discussing what’s to come and co-star Norman Reedus on Daryl’s next arc.