Back in September, AMC officially ordered a pilot episode for The Walking Dead companion series, a show that will be set in the same living dead universe as the current series, albeit in a different environment inhabited by new characters. The news front for the companion series has been quiet for some time, but it has now been revealed that the first two actors have joined the pilot's cast.

Deadline reports that Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey have signed on to The Walking Dead spinoff, which is tentatively also known as Cobalt at this time. The show is believed to focus on a male divorced teacher and a female guidance counselor, and Dillane will play the latter's son, who has a history of drug addiction. Carey, meanwhile, will take on the role of the guidance counselor's ambitious daughter/Dillane's character's sister.

These character descriptions may sound familiar, as TVLine revealed in September a list of character names and backstories for the companion series (see below). While the character breakdowns are probably accurate, the names are likely going to change. At this point, though, it seems like Dillane is playing the character known as Nick Tompkins and Carey is portraying Ashley Tompkins.

Fans of The Walking Dead should be pleased to know that Robert Kirkman co-created and co-wrote the companion series' pilot with Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun), who will also serve as showrunner and executive producer. The Walking Dead executive producers Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert will handle the same duties on the new series, which is in the early casting stages of production.

Dillane played a 16-year-old Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort) in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Carey recently appeared in Into the Storm and also played a role in the pilot for Galyntine, which AMC passed on. Stay tuned to Daily Dead for further updates on The Walking Dead companion series. In the meantime, here's the unofficial list of characters for the spinoff series (I suggest you take this with a grain of salt):

“SEAN CABRERA | A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.

CODY CABRERA | Sean’s whip-smart and rebellious teenage son. Known as the angriest kid in town.

NANCY TOMPKINS | A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.

NICK TOMPKINS | Nancy’s screwed up teenage son. He’s too old to stay home, too scared to flee.

ASHLEY TOMPKINS | Nancy’s mostly level-headed teenage daughter. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her older brother’s failures. She loves her mom but it’s time to get out of Dodge.

ANDREA CHAPMAN | A somewhat wilted flower child, fortysomething Andrea — yep, another Andrea! — has retreated to the outskirts of the city to recover after a horrible marriage.”

For those that missed it, here’s the previously released press release from AMC, announcing that they moved forward with a pilot order:

“New York, NY – September 5, 2014 – AMC announced today that it has ordered a pilot episode of a companion series for “The Walking Dead.” “The Walking Dead,” which premiered on AMC in October, 2010, has been the #1 program on television among adults 18-49 for the last two years. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert from “The Walking Dead” are also executive producers of the new project which, like the original, is being produced by AMC Studios. Dave Erickson (“Marco Polo,” “Sons of Anarchy”), who co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman, will serve as an executive producer and showrunner.

“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. In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “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.”

“There are many corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe that remain unseen in the shadows. 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,” said Kirkman.

“I’ve been fortunate to have collaborated with both Robert and AMC on past projects and I’m thrilled to join them again, along with Gale and David, to build upon ‘The Walking Dead’s’ already epic narrative,” said Erickson.

The pilot is scheduled for production in late 2014. No additional details are being provided about the location and/or casting for the pilot at this time.

The highly-anticipated fifth season of “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on October 12. “The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series created and written by Robert Kirkman and published by Skybound, Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics.”

Frank Dillane:

Alycia Debnam Carey:

Source: Deadline
  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.