A spinoff series to TV’s wildly popular zombie show “The Walking Dead” has been secretly filming in Los Angeles under a fake title.

Prequel “Fear the Walking Dead” was shot under the name “Cobalt” – partly to keep fans and media off the scent but also to prevent price-gouging from suppliers and casual theft of props and other highly prized branded materials.

Disguising the real nature of a major project with a fake title is a ruse increasingly used in blockbuster movies – current smash hit “Jurassic World” had the working title “Ebb Tide” while Batman movie “The Dark Knight” used “Rory’s First Kiss.”

To avoid any undesirable attention during hush-hush production of “Fear the Walking Dead,” the same tactic was employed by channel AMC on the hotly anticipated show, which will start screening next month.

Comic-book adaptation “The Walking Dead” – which is the most-watched cable series of all time, averaging 19.9 million viewers – is shot and set in Georgia. Its storyline started a month after zombies began stalking the living.

This prequel show, with an all-new cast but set in the same universe, will start just before the zombie apocalypse and focus on an L.A. family dealing with the horror of the outbreak as it happens.

Executive producer Robert Kirkman said Los Angeles, rather than rural Georgia, provides the perfect backdrop for the new show, saying in a statement, “It’s got an extremely dense population, so there are a lot of things about that that lend itself well to good storytelling in the zombie apocalypse.”

Spacey Sets Stage

Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions is behind smash movie hits including “The Social Network” and “Captain Phillips” as well as Netflix series “House of Cards,” but it’s also backing several smaller projects through a short-film contest organized with Jameson Irish Whiskey. It’s a project Spacey said he hopes will launch the next generation of show-business stars.

“If you’ve been successful at the career you wanted to have, it’s your obligation to spend a good proportion of your time sending the elevator back down. Jack Lemmon taught me that,” Spacey said at a recent Paramount Pictures Studios screening of winning films from the Jameson First Shot contest, where he was joined by fellow Oscar winner Adrien Brody, who is helping him mentor the aspiring moviemakers.

Spacey also explained how his L.A. production company got its name.

“When I was growing up in Chatsworth, I had a dream of building a theater at the ranch close to where I lived that had been built and owned by cowboy star Roy Rogers and where he had named a street after his horse, Trigger,” Spacey said. “Even though my theater was never created, when it came time to name my company, Trigger Street felt like something that could go on and on.”

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