The Walking Dead’s companion series spinoff may have gotten gun-shy over its official title, but with two seasons already ordered and a summer 2015 premiere fast approaching, the story is already underway. Find out what creator Robert Kirkman had to say about the spinoff’s focus on the zombie origins, and interaction with the main series!

Speaking at a “creative activism” panel at SXSW, Kirkman reiterated that The Walking Dead’s formally-untitled companion series wouldn’t adapt any existing comic material, but specified that “prequel” would only prove accurate for so long. Instead, Kirkman explained that the new series would eventually catch up to and potentially cross over with the main series, while still acting as stand-alone for the moment.

I wouldn’t call it ‘prequel’ because the entirety of the show is not going take place before [The Walking Dead]. It will eventually form a path running concurrently. […] One thing that we’re doing with the new show that we’re trying with everything is it’s not derivative. It’s standing on its own. You can watch it by itself and get your own experience. But if you are watching both shows there are things like, ‘Oh they discovered this, or they discovered that in a different way.’ There are a lot of things about The Walking Dead world these characters have to learn or figure out to get by.

And there may be some things that are discovered in the companion show that haven’t been discovered in the other show yet. So there could be like a thing where, ‘Oh, they encountered a zombie in season 4 in The Walking Dead that could do this and now we know why that was.’ So we’re going to be doing things like that are going to be pretty cool, but for the most part [the two shows] should be able to stand alone. And then we’re going to cross it over for an Avengers movie and it will be great. [Via EW]

Still untitled (most rumors put the moniker as Fear the Walking Dead), the companion series to AMC’s monster smash will follow its predecessor with six episodes for its first season, set to debut sometime this summer. The second season will air in 2016, though whether we’ll see a 13-episode order or eight and eight like the main series remains to be seen.

The Last Airbender star Cliff Curtis will lead the cast as divorced teacher Sean Cabrera, with Gone Girl star Kim Dickens as high school guidance counselor Nancy. Also cast in the role of her two children from a previous marriage are Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince star Frank Dillane and AMC pilot Galyntine star Alycia Debnam Carey.

Walking Dead executive producers Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert will all take part in the new L.A.-set series, while Sons of Anarchy and Low Winter Sun vet Dave Erickson will both co-write and executive produce, and Adam Davidson will direct the pilot.

We’ve also heard that The Walking Dead Season 6 might feature a character connected to the companion series, but should AMC’s next Dead stick to its own corner of the story, or eventually cross over to the present?

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