The Walking Dead movie may be taking Rick Grimes to Philadelphia. The surprise first trailer for the film released during the show's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Andrew Lincoln, who starred as Rick since The Walking Dead debuted in 2010, notably left the show during season 9 before it was confirmed that he would return for three films.
Lincoln initially planned for his departure from The Walking Dead to occur during season 8. He later decided that didn't feel right so he stayed into the ninth season. Viewers were nervous about how Rick's fate would be handled as he had been the driving force of the series since the beginning. Rick's final appearance came in The Walking Dead season 9, episode 5, titled "What Comes After." Already in a severely injured state, Rick led a herd of walkers across the bridge before blowing them up with dynamite. His allies presumably thought he died in the explosion but he was later rescued by Anne and taken away by a helicopter.
Following Rick's departure, The Walking Dead had a six-year time jump, but it was insinuated that Daryl and Michonne believed that Rick could still be alive. Indeed, while time on the TV series might be over, there's plenty of Rick's story left to be told. His uncertain fate was promised to be the focus of three movies set within The Walking Dead's universe, initially presumed to air on AMC. That's no longer the case: the teaser for the untitled The Walking Dead movie unveiled Skybound's plan to exclusively release the films in theaters. The announcement also indicated where Rick was taken to after leaving Alexandria.
The skyline featured in the official teaser for The Walking Dead movie strongly resembles the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But what does Philly have to do with Rick's helicopter rescue? The obvious answer is that the City of Brotherly Love could be the headquarters of the group that took Rick. All audiences know about them is that they fly a helicopter with three rings on the side of it as they search for people they categorize as "A or B."
Philadelphia has never made an appearance on The Walking Dead, so it's difficult to draw any firm conclusions based on the location. The only time the city has come up was in season 2 when Rick and Hershel ran into a group of scavengers at a bar in town. Before a gunfight broke out, Rick learned that the men originated from Philly before making their way down south. As for distance, Philadelphia isn't terribly far from the outskirts of Washington, D.C. so it's plausible that a helicopter could make the ride. It's also possible that Michonne could travel there if she decides to set out to search for Rick.
The Walking Dead's first film is rumored to focus on Rick acclimating to his new group. The location could tell viewers a lot about this mysterious community. Philly is known for their historical landmarks and city-wide skyscrapers but it's also an industrial hub. This could potentially explain the fuel source for the helicopters seeing as the city houses oil refineries.
The layout of the city could also play a role in the community's motives to find survivors as a way to thrive as a new world. Philadelphia has a naval yard that sits along two major rivers that would be a perfect location for a community: the waterways could be used for transportation purposes rather than relying on cars; and, with only a limited amount of options to enter the Navy Yard, the protection from walkers and other threats would be easier to deal with. As of now, there is no release date for The Walking Dead movie so stay tuned for more details on Rick's return.