The Walking Dead Companion Series: Everything We Know So Far

final-shot-msf-walking-deadShooting is expected to start soon on a companion series set in the world of AMC's The Walking Dead, based on the Image Comics/Skybound series from Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard.

The series will air during The Walking Dead's off-time, increasing the footprint of the massively successful drama and presumably AMC's bottom line.

But...what do we actually know about it? Not a ton so far, but with a spate of recent casting notices, much more than we did. Here's what we know...and chime in below if there's something we've missed, so we can add it to the list.

The pilot will shoot in Los Angeles, and apparently take place there as well.

The Walking Dead companion series for AMC is filming in California, according to a Redditor who received a notification that their neighborhood is being scouted for the project.

Filming for the spinoff had been rumored to be taking place in Pennsylvania, but even if that turns out to be true, it's possible they could shoot the pilot in California and then move the full series to somewhere less costly.

About two weeks ago, additional word came that it would be set in California as well.

Some details on the characters are out there from casting notices.

Back in September, we got our first sense of the series from some leaked casting notices:

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.

With two middle-aged women and a middle-aged man, plus two teenage boys and a teenage girl in the mix, let the shipper wars begin.

You've also got gender parity in these first six, a Latino (a group that hasn't had a ton of representation on The Walking Dead) lead character and older kids. This not only hews to the producers' previous assurances of exploring some new territory in the spinoff, but in the case of the teenagers likely helps with some of the child labor issues that they faced with Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes on the parent series.

There's also another Andrea -- but that's not uncommon for series creator Robert Kirkman, who has said in interviews that having just one character per given name might make sense in novels or other non-visual media, but in comics and movies it just doesn't feel realistic or necessary.

It takes place early on.

"There’s increasing buzz that the offshoot will be a prequel of sorts, one that would chronicle the early days of the epidemic and the effort to contain it," said one of the earliest reports on the series.

It's not connected to existing stories from TV or the comics.

"I can say that it will be another group of characters, surviving in another part of the world," Robert Kirkman said in one of his earliest comments about the series. "And it’s not going to use any of the core cast from our show. The show will continue uninterrupted, as if the other show doesn’t exist. But the other show will kind of be its own entity.”

"We’re sort of treating the spin-off as a completely separate entity," producer Greg Nicotero added later. "That was something that was very, very important when the notion of a companion series was even brought up. Many of us, the actors and the executive producers, wanted to make sure that anything we did, we didn’t want it to diminish our story, our storyline, our characters and the momentum that we have. So the intent is that it is going to be its own standalone world."

Cliff Curtis is the male lead.

Cliff Curtis will play the male lead role in AMC’s The Walking Dead companion series, we discovered early this month. The Gang Related alum will play Sean Cabrera, a teacher described as “a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.” Cabrera also has a son, played by Frank Dilane, with his ex-wife.

dickensKim Dickens is the female lead.

Earlier this week, it was announced that character actor Kim Dickens has been cast as the show's female lead. 

Dickens recently co-starred in Gone Girl, and has appeared on television in TremeDeadwood, and Sons of Anarchy. She also appeared in The Blind Side and has had lead roles in some smaller films, including the Bill Pullman/Ben Stiller gem Zero Effect.

Dickens’ character is a guidance counselor at the same school as Curtis’ character, a teacher. The two are in a relationship at the time of the zombie outbreak. Dickens’ character has two children from a previous marriage.

Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey are the kids.

As mentioned, they're Dickens' kids.

Dillane is best known for playing Tom Riddle, Jr. in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, while Carey is a relative newcomer, perhaps best known for her part in the film Into the Stormwith The Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies.

Its working title is "Cobalt."

The title being used during filming, which is often generic so as not to attract onlookers and other problems for big-name productions, is Cobalt, according to Californians whose homes are being scouted.

parejaAt least one character from The Walking Dead might (but almost certainly won't) appear

Actor Juan Gabriel Pareja, who appeared as a member of the cast of AMC's The Walking Dead in the show's first season before leaving with his family for Binmingham and never being seen again, is currently listed on IMDb as one of the cast members for the as-yet-untitled The Walking Dead spinoff series set to debut next year, and has been spotted on social media insisting his  character isn't dead.

IMDb, of course, is a wildly unreliable source of this kind of information, but it's fun to speculate, since we know little about the series...but we do know that some of the characters, per the casting notices, are expected to be Latino.

The series is distinct from