According to the Hollywood Reporter, both the comic (which will debut in 2014) and the series on Cinemax will focus on a character named Kyle Barnes who has suffered from demonic possession since childhood. As an adult, he takes a spiritual journey to find answers and discovers a possibly apocalyptic secret.
In addition to executive-producing the series along with The Walking Dead‘s David Alpert, Kirkman will handle writing duties on the pilot – his first time authoring a script for television.
“Despite the success of The Walking Dead, Outcast is only my second foray into the horror genre,” Kirkman says. “I think Kyle Barnes is every bit as compelling as Rick Grimes and demonic possession is way scarier than zombies, so this is going to be fun.”
Sharon Tal Yguado, executive VP of original development and scripted programming at Fox International Channels, says the series will be “unlike anything on television,” noting that it “has the potential to become another global phenomenon” like The Walking Dead.
“At FIC, we’re committed to creating compelling, innovative television with A-list writers like Robert Kirkman,” she says. “With Cinemax, we have a partner that is as passionate as we are about this very unique project.”
In addition to The Walking Dead and Outcast, Kirkman currently has two other comic adaptations in development. One is an AMC-backed Walking Dead companion series tentatively planned for 2015; the other is the heist-centered Thief of Thieves, and that project has not yet found a network.
Last month, Kirkman spoke with Rolling Stone about the past and future of The Walking Dead.
“I’m 34 years old,” he said. “By the time I’m 65, I might actually get pretty far. If I don’t get bored and people are still enjoying the story, I can do 1,000 issues of The Walking Dead. So it is actually possible to tell a story that follows the collapse of civilization into the dark ages into the rebirth of civilization, where things are completely different. There could be an Issue 700 of The Walking Dead that’s about people delivering mail. That is exciting to me.”