Following the game-changing departure of the character, who has been the show’s lead since the series began in 2010, it’s been revealed that his fate will be explored in future feature-length instalments that’ll have a bigger budget than regular episodes.
The news was confirmed by former showrunner Scott Gimple, who was recently promoted to overseer of The Walking Dead franchise. He said: “There is more story to tell and we’ll be telling it.”
It heralds multiple new scripted projects that’ll focus on numerous other characters – old and new – within the universe.
“The story of Rick will go on in films,” Gimple added. “Right now, we’re working on three but there’s flexibility in that. 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. We’re going to dig into the past and see old characters. We’re going to introduce new characters and new situations.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Lincoln revealed that the original plan was for Rick to be killed off in the show’s eighth season, but plans changed after Gimple decided to kill off his on-screen son Carl, played by Chandler Riggs. The British actor confirmed that he even filmed a death scene that was later scrapped after deciding to stay on for season nine.
Lincoln, speaking on Talking Dead, said: “It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning”, expressing his excitement to be exploring the world away from the characters he’s been associated with for nine years. Production on the films is expected to last for just two months a year.
“Rick Grimes is an amazing character and Andy has done an amazing performance,” Gimple said. “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.
Major spoilers below
Jadis saved Rick from death in The Walking Dead after seemingly sacrificing himself to save his friends and family from an oncoming herd of walkers. The episode ended with him being whisked away in a helicopter ahead of the final scene, which revealed a time jump of six years.
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