Another big development in the pre-production process for the second spinoff in The Walking Dead extended universe: the forthcoming series has found one of its leads and confirmed who will direct the pilot episode. The still-untitled spinoff joins Fear the Walking Dead as offshoots to the primary Walking Dead arc. Where Fear the Walking Dead added some crucial backstory, this next spinoff is looking to the future.
According to Deadline, Youngerstar Nico Tortorella has been cast as one of the series leads. They’ll (Tortorella identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns) play Felix, described by Deadline as “an honorable man of his word who isn’t afraid to fight for others’ safety and acceptance.” Tortorella joins actors Annet Mahendru (Huck), Aliyah Royale (Iris), Alexa Mansour (Hope), Nicolas Cantu (Elton), and Hal Cumpston (Silas) for the cast. We’ve also learned that Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has signed on to direct the pilot episode. The wording of Deadline’s report implies Vogt-Roberts may direct more than one episode but we’ll have to wait and see.
Tortorella currently stars as Josh on TV Land’s hit series Younger, which also stars Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. Tortorella’s casting in this Walking Dead spinoff will not affect their commitments to Younger. This new role marks a rare occasion in Tortorella’s career which sees them tackling roles in more genre-specific films. Previous notable examples of this include roles in Scream 4 in 2011 and Odd Thomas in 2013. As for Vogt-Roberts, this will be the second TV series he’s directed on. Previous TV directing stints include the pilot and multiple episodes of FX’s You’re the Worst.
The forthcoming Walking Dead series’ synopsis will “focus on the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever.” Despite the synopsis clue of a big time jump into the future, exact story details have yet to be released. Production on the spinoff has already begun in Richmond, Virginia.