Andrew Lincoln's run with The Walking Dead's franchise will continue through appearances in a trilogy of newly announced movies. Lincoln has been the star of AMC's hit shot The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes for nine seasons, but it was previously revealed that he would exit the show this season.
As the face of The Walking Dead brand, it came as a surprise that his run would soon be ending. There's been plenty of build up to his final episode, especially after the penultimate one put him in a dire state. While Lincoln and the rest of The Walking Dead crew initially hoped his exit wouldn't become public knowledge ahead of time, they've since handled the end with grace. Lincoln especially has made the most of the situation, even sharing a goodbye letter. But it turns out he isn't leaving the entire post-apocalyptic universe just yet.
THR revealed that Andrew Lincoln has signed on to appear in three original Walking Dead movies for AMC. They received this major piece of intel straight from The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who revealed that he is currently writing the script for the first feature-length TV movie. They are already eyeing a 2019 start to production, but how early or late it begins is not yet clear. How exactly Gimple and Lincoln plan to continue Rick Grimes' story has also been revealed, but those details contain MAJOR SPOILERS for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, which will be below the jump.
As revealed in the closing moments of episode 5 "What Comes After," Rick Grimes is saved by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and taken by helicopter to a brand new community. This twist is immediately followed by another major revelation through a time jump, which reveals an older Judith Grimes. Gimble told THR that the upcoming movies will explore the time period between Rick's rescue and the time jump, and could even stretch beyond this time period. The first movie focuses on uncovering the "vast mythology" of the new community looking for A or B type people. Gimble said, "It is about who he is and who he's going to be — and certainly how he deals with the situation he's in. We know Rick Grimes, he would want to be home." With that being the case, Gimble also didn't count out other familiar faces appearing in the films. And as for when it will arrive, he teased "sooner rather than later" should be the expectation.
This is a major revelation for The Walking Dead franchise as it is their latest move to expand beyond just television series. They currently have prequel series Fear the Walking Dead ongoing, and the addition of original movies only expands the brand further. This is undoubtedly the "big" announcement Gimble teased before and its safe to say they're living up to the generated hype. There's plenty of additional details still to come now that this is a confirmed project, but those not ready to say goodbye to Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead universe no longer have to worry about that with three (and potentially more) movies on the way.
The Walking Dead season 9 continues next Sunday, November 11th with "Who Are You Now" at 9:00pm/8c on AMC.