Plans for a spin-off of The Walking Dead first emerged around a year ago, but American cable network AMC are now moving ahead with what is being described as a “companion series” to the zombie drama.

While they haven’t given it a straight to series order like Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, AMC are apparently planning on picking it up after giving the green light to a pilot episode which will begin production later this year. It will be interesting to see if it ends up being what’s known as a “backdoor pilot”, an introduction episode shown during the second half of The Walking Dead’s fifth season.

The companion series will focus on an entirely new cast of character in an entirely different location.

“Almost from the beginning of ‘The Walking Dead’ on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world,” AMC President Charlie Collier said in a statement today. “In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most.”

Comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman adds, “There are many corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe that remain unseen in the shadows. 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.”

Kirkman will also produce The Walking Dead’s currently unttiled companion series, while Dave Erickson is credited as co-creator and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman. He’ll also serve as the showrunner.