Despite the fact that there has been very little in the way of plot and setting, information about the players in the upcoming Walking Dead spin-off has been very forthcoming. It speaks to the nature of The Walking Dead itself, as a character-driven drama, a “soap-opera” as creator Robert Kirkman calls it. The spin-off promises to be more of the same, with new characters in a new setting, but still in the same universe of the mother show.
As we reported back in October, the characters even appear to be riffs on the original Walking Dead characters, with Rick Grimes, Carl Grimes, and Carol Peletier knock-offs. The characters are younger and appear to be there to capture the attention of a younger audience.
Deadline has reported that the roles of the two youngest main characters will be played by Alycia Debnam Carey and Frank Dillane. Debnam Carey is relatively new to North American audiences. She made her debut here in the summer thriller Into the Storm. Frank Dillane is best-known for playing 16-year-old Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The two of them will be playing the children of Nancy Thomkins, described as a thirtysomething single mom who looks like the girl next door, but with “an edge.” Debnam Carey and Dillane’s characters, named Ashley and Nick, will play an ambitious, level-headed girl, and a drug abusing, screwed up son, respectively.
It has also been reported that the companion series will be called Cobalt. The significance of the name remains to be seen.