The Walking Dead Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd recently said the pilot episode of The Walking Dead spinoff, codenamed “Cobalt” and rumored to be titled “Fear the Walking Dead,” is now complete.
Speaking at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & Television as part of its Hollywood Masters interview series, Hurd said the pilot was finished Feb. 6. She said she couldn’t give an air date for the spinoff, because it hasn’t been picked up as a series yet.
The spinoff/companion series will feature Cliff Curtis as a divorced teacher, Kim Dickens as a guidance counselor, and the guidance counselor’s two kids trying to survive in walker-overrun Los Angeles. It’s rumored that a character or characters from the show will appear in The Walking Dead season six.
Most of the evening focused on Hurd’s long career as a producer, but she also shared a few other details about The Walking Dead. She said she’s still friends with show co-creator Frank Darabont, who parted with the show on messy terms, and would not have stayed on the project without his blessing.
She also said the toughest thing about the show, besides the Georgia heat, is telling actors that their characters will be killed off. And the toughest so far has been telling young Madison Lintz that her character Sophia Peletier would die.
“It’s the hardest part of the whole show, honestly,” she said. “It’s much harder than saying goodbye to an actor. But the only person that I had to tell [directly] was the little girl that came out of the barn as a zombie at the end of the second season. I told her mother. The year before, she wasn’t sure she wanted to be an actress. So we thought we were doing her a favor. And you don’t want a kid to be showing up and doing something they don’t want to do. Well, we didn’t realize that over the summer she decided she really wanted to be an actress.”
The Hollywood Reporter has a full transcript of Hurd’s remarks here.