AMC’s Walking Dead spinoff series is about to begin filming any day now with cast members like Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis. It has already been revealed that Los Angeles, not Atlanta, will serve as the setting for the show, but we wanted even more intel. Which is precisely why we tracked down Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who now tells us a bit more about what to expect from the show and the ways in which it will and will not mirror the original hit series and the comic book on which it is based.
“I will say that this is going to be a show about family,” says Kirkman. “But it’s going to be a show about a different type of family that we haven’t explored in The Walking Dead thus far. So what we’re trying to do with The Walking Dead spinoff is keep the story as familiar as possible for people that love The Walking Dead, so you’ll get the kind of things that you expect from a Walking Dead story. But, at the same time, we’ll want to tell these stories in a completely different way with completely different people in a completely different setting that’s going to make for a fundamentally different show. I think the look and feel of The Walking Dead spinoff is going to be startlingly different.”
Although judging by the ratings you might be hard-pressed to find anyone that has not at least sampled the original show, Kirkman says any previous knowledge of that universe will not be necessary to watch the new companion series. “We want it to be a new show that can stand on its own,” says the exec-producer of both programs. “You could watch The Walking Dead spinoff if you’ve never watched an episode of The Walking Dead and get a really great, rich, fulfilling experience out of it. It has to be a show that can stand on its own. I think that’s what we’ve accomplished, and we start filming in a couple of days. I’m really excited.”
Kirkman also confirms that no characters from the original comic book will appear on the new show, which makes sense seeing as how they take place on opposite sides of the country. “It’s Los Angeles. It’s a corner of the world that we have never explored in the comic book series. So, theoretically, something like this could be happening in Los Angeles in the comic book series, but we don’t show you this area of the country in the comic book series. So it fits within that world, but it is all new characters, all new events and all kinds of crazy stuff.”
To further differentiate the two TV versions of The Walking Dead, the new pilot will be directed by Adam Davidson, a newcomer to this world. “He hasn’t directed The Walking Dead,” says Kirkman. “So that is one way that we’re trying to bring a new directing style to the show—to bring in new visual language to this show. That’s something that Adam is working really hard to bring. He’ll largely be responsible for the different look and feel that makes the show stand on it’s own.”
Kirkman also says the spinoff will not feature zombies. KIDDING!