The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has been a busy guy. In addition to working on the TV show The Walking Dead and continuing to create Walking Dead comics he made a movie, Air, starring Norman Reedus and started writing a new comic. The new comic, Outcast, debuted in June of 2014 to a waiting audience who were anxious to see how Kirkman would handle the topic of demonic possession. Based on the success of The Walking Dead, which was turned down by almost all major networks before AMC took a chance on it, networks started a bidding war to secure the rights to Outcast. Outcast is now in production as a TV show for Cinemax.
Familiar Faces and Voices – Robert Kirkman will be teaming up with some familiar people and some familiar writing voices to work on Outcast and also to work on the spinoff series to The Walking Dead. Outcast will be developed with the help of Dave Alpert, who also works with Kirkman on The Walking Dead TV show. Distribution for Outcast will go through Fox International Channels, which handles the distribution of The Walking Dead outside of the US. So the creation of Outcast remains a bit of a family affair even though the show is being produced for Cinemax and not for AMC, which presumably was too busy with The Walking Dead and the Walking Dead spinoff to outbid Cinemax for Outcast.
The Outcast Story – Outcast is kind of unusual among horror genre graphic novels because of the humanity of the characters, a trait which Kirkman has used successfully in The Walking Dead. Outcast tells the story of Kyle Barnes, someone who has been afflicted with paranormal activity since childhood and continues to be affected as an adult. His family are also victims of demonic forces and he struggles as an adult to understand why they are all the targets of demonic activity and what can be done to fight the unseen demons that plague them. Kyle, like The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes, is driven to fix the problem and protect his family while also wanting to understand the world as he experiences it and make peace with the outside forces acting on them all.
The Potential – When The Walking Dead first hit TV not too many people saw the massive potential of the show. AMC originally gave the show a six episode run to see how fans reacted. Now the show is shattering records left and right and has even beaten Sunday Night Football in the ratings several times this season. TV executives have learned from their mistake in passing on The Walking Dead and are lining up to get behind Outcast counting on Kirkman’s talent and star power to draw massive audiences. Because Outcast deals with the paranormal there is a lot of potential in the show to provide some really great scares for horror fans. Paranormal genre films and TV shows generally do well and the show will not only have fans of Robert Kirkman to draw from but also fans of the paranormal genre. Outcast has the potential to be just as successful as The Walking Dead, which is a huge deal to the networks that were stunned and caught unaware by the massive and ongoing success of The Walking Dead.
Producton on Outcast – Right now pre-production on Outcast has been barely started even though several issues of the comic have been released. Kirkman has a lot of projects in the hopper right now and has to juggle Outcast, The Walking Dead spinoff, writing the graphic novels for both The Walking Dead and Outcast, and still fulfill his role as head of the Image/Skybound imprint. Casting calls have gone out for Outcast but right now no official casting for the show has been announced. That may change quickly however because Cinemax is anxious to get the show in production and on air to take advantage of the popularity of the comic and garner big ratings right from the start of the show.