As the massive $500 million+ success of “Rogue One” will show, people are interested in seeing the younger incarnations of their favourite characters. That’s what CBS are thinking in commissioning a spinoff of “The Big Bang Theory” to follow the exploits of Sheldon Cooper as a child.

Casting has begun

Auditions have commenced in the producers’ search for the young actor who will take the role of the quirky genius. The casting call for young Sheldon (not that one is particularly needed, since I’m pretty sure every kid in the world has seen “The Big Bang Theory” and knows who Sheldon is) is asking for a boy in the 8-11 age range who can play a “socially awkward, one-in-a-generation genius.” Other adjectives used to describe the character in the casting call are “confident,” “arrogant,” “short-tempered,” and “fiercely ritualistic.”

Some might argue against this spinoff that Jim Parsons has made the role his own in the way that Ricky Gervais did with David Brent or Steve Coogan did with Alan Partridge, and that no one else could ever be convincingly seen as Sheldon, but Parsons himself is involved with the show as an executive producer, and is assisting “Big Bang” creator Chuck Lorre and showrunner Steve Molaro in their quest to find young Sheldon.

Laurie Metcalf might not return as Sheldon’s mother

Laurie Metcalf, who plays Sheldon’s mother Mary Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory,” may not be returning to play her younger self. The casting call does mention Sheldon’s mother, but nothing about Metcalf. It seems a new actress will be selected as the younger Mary. The call notes that the series will focus on Sheldon’s family life in East Texas as a young boy, something we’ve heard a lot about from the anecdotes Sheldon tells in “Big Bang.”

The spinoff might still not happen

So far, this is just a pilot, but given that “The Big Bang Theory” brings out 20 million viewers per episode and is one of the most watched shows on TV right now, even in its tenth year, with Sheldon as its most popular character, this seems like a no-brainier for CBS.

Expect a cast in place for the young Sheldon spinoff soon, as it’s slated to premiere in the autumn of 2017, which is quite close considering all the deals that have to be made, sets that have to be built, and shooting that needs to be done. The spinoff could run in the summer when “Big Bang” is off the airwaves between seasons, the way “Fear the Walking Dead” does when the original flagship “Walking Dead” is on hiatus.