AMC announced Friday that they have ordered a pilot episode for an untitled spin-off to its hugely successful zombie drama “The Walking Dead.”
The project will be produced by Robert Kirkman, creator of “The Walking Dead” comic books, along with Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert. The pilot was scripted by Kirkman and Dave Erickson, who will also serve as showrunner.
Although the title and plot are currently unknown, the show will explore how the zombie apocalypse has affected other parts of the world (the main series is set primarily in and around Atlanta, 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.”
While “The Walking Dead” more or less follows the events of the original graphic novels, the franchise has a history of introducing new characters and stories in various spin-off media, such as Telltale Games’ critically acclaimed episodic video game (which just concluded its second season).
“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,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We’re thrilled to be taking this next step with these remarkable partners.”
This companion series is not the only television project that Kirkman is currently working on. A pilot based on his most recent comic book, “Outcast,” was recently ordered by Cinemax, and AMC is also developing a show based on Kirkman’s “Thief of Thieves.” In addition, Kirkman will serve as executive producer for Syfy’s adaptation of “Clone” from Image Comics.
“The Walking Dead” returns for Season 5 on Oct. 12. If ordered to series, the spin-off could air in 2015 or 2016.