Many fans believe that Andrew Lincoln could return to The Walking Dead after the Rick Grimes trilogy of TV movies air but the actor has now made it clear that he has no plans to return to the show…
There’s nothing to say that won’t happen, of course, but with rumours swirling that characters like Daryl and Michonne could appear in one of the Rick Grimes movies, it seems that will end up taking place there rather than in the long-running AMC series itself.
What do you think should come next for Rick after his final appearance in The Walking Dead?
Click on the “View List” button below for a breakdown of everything
that’s been revealed about The Walking Dead movie plans!
The Movies Won’t Be Released In Theaters
Since the announcement that Andrew Lincoln will be reprising the role of Rick Grimes in a trilogy of movies, fans have been wondering whether they will be released in theaters or aired on television. Given the way ratings have plummeted for the series, an argument could be made that the moment for a big screen spinoff of The Walking Dead has passed.
Well, AMC Studios seemingly agrees because it’s now been confirmed that the three big budget, feature-length movies will actually air on television. In other words, they’re going to be TV movies!
They’re Not Traditional TV Movies, Though
Before you write these off as not being worth watching, it sounds like the Rick Grimes trilogy will actually be a much larger event than the TV movies which aired for shows like 24 and Prison Break.
According to AMC programming president David Madden, these movies won’t be like an extended episode and will instead be more along the lines of a “large, big scope movie that will feel like a major motion picture,” with a runtime anticipated to come in at around two hours. As we mentioned above, the budget will also be akin to a movie you’d see in theaters.
Michonne And Daryl Could Be Next For The Movie Treatment
Apparently, both Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) could end up either appearing in these movies or elsewhere. The latter is expected to become the new face of the franchise on the small screen following Andrew Lincoln’s departure so that really isn’t too surprising but it sounds like the focus of the first movie will remain firmly on Rick Grimes.
Writer Scott Gimple (who will also be responsible for launching a “shared universe” for The Walking Dead) says that it will take place from Rick’s point of view while exploring the “vast mythology” behind the community that helicopter belongs to. It’s said the group is looking for “A or B” type people so they clearly have something in mind for the former Alexandria leader.
These Movies Are Just The Beginning
Three movies may have been announced but there could be even more to Rick’s story than that. Gimple says that there’s “flexibility” in that number and it won’t just be this character who receives the spotlight.
“Over the next several years, we’re going to be doing specials, new series are quite a possibility, high-quality digital content and then some content that defies description at the moment,” he explains. “We’re going to dig into the past and see old characters. We’re going to introduce new characters and new situations.” An origin story for Negan would be cool to see, right?
…And They’ve Been Planned For Years
Believe it or not, Lincoln and Gimple first started discussing these movies as far back as season four of The Walking Dead. Shortly after, it was decided that Rick would be killed off during season eight but as soon as it became clear that his story could continue in these small screen movies, he stuck around a little longer. This is presumably why the helicopter was introduced too.
Why Andrew Lincoln Said Yes To The Movies
We’ve heard a lot about Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead so he can spend more time with his family so what’s the deal with him now agreeing to star in a trilogy of movies? Well, while details are still being finalised, it’s said that production on each movie will only last two months which is a huge contrast to the nine months he spent a year shooting the show in Atlanta.
“Rick Grimes is an amazing character and Andy has done an amazing performance. There were story ideas brewing that, as the years went on, seemed very compatible with continuing to tell the Rick story in another format that would allow him time with his family,” Gimple says, confirming that, yes, Rick obviously survives his injuries.
The Walking Dead Is Going Global
Up until now, the action in The Walking Dead has mostly been confined to Atlanta and the surrounding areas but it seems as if we’ll finally get to see how the zombie apocalypse is affecting other areas of the world in this movie and beyond.
Gimple’s vision includes potentially heading overseas in order to delve into that, while he also confirms that he currently developing a project featuring a character from the past, delving into their origin stories. I mentioned Negan above but there are any number of characters who would be well-suited to a story like that.
What The Rick Grimes Movies Will Explore
Gimple was happy to shed some light on plans for this trilogy and he confirms that the movies are going to delve into the time between the moment he’s put on that helicopter to the jump forward in time where we were introduced to a much older Judith. In fact, they may even stretch beyond that period and each movie will tell a complete story about the character.
“It is about who he is and who he’s going to be — and certainly how he deals with the situation he’s in,” Gimple says. “We know Rick Grimes, he would want to be home.” Does that mean he’ll eventually return to the main series? That’s certainly something we could see happen in the series finale!
Don’t Expect Oversaturation
So, it sounds like we’re getting way too much of The Walking Dead, right? Well, don’t panic: Gimple promises that the market won’t be flooded with too many offerings as he’s taken note of what’s happened to Disney with the Star Wars franchise following the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“Oversaturation is a word I’ve been thinking about. We’re not putting all this stuff out at once but have a very long view of everything. And we’re not going to show them all at the same time,” he promises.
The Movies Aren’t Backdoor Pilots
These movies are also going to be standalone in nature and not an excuse to launch more spinoffs. “We are going to be introducing a new corner of the world in The Walking Dead and it has its own history, its own rules and its own situations going on,” Gimple says. “And those absolutely will feed other stories in the universe in an ancillary way.”
“There are aspects of the movie that could result in other content but not utterly directly; we’re not looking at it like it’s a backdoor pilot; these are going to feel more like features.” So, while AMC is taking a Marvel-like “It’s All Connected” approach to these stories, it definitely sounds like the network knows exactly what it’s doing here.