The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 5 was the final episode for Rick Grimes. Played by Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes faces the past while struggling to protect the future he and Carl had in mind. But the way the episode ended, it marked a new chapter for the actor and fans of the Walking Dead television series. Rick has left the show but he isn’t gone from the universe. Instead, he’ll star in a Walking Dead movie, or as some are calling it: Rick Grimes Returns.
AMC confirmed two minutes after Rick’s final episode aired that Andrew Lincoln will be making a move to The Walking Dead movies. The Walking Dead movie franchise will take off in theaters like these other big name Sci-Fi franchises, instead of on AMC’s television network.
The Walking Dead Movie Teaser Trailer
In a new teaser trailer for the upcoming Walking Dead movie shown at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, AMC confirmed that Rick would be starring in The Walking Dead movies. The short teaser trailer shows an almost dead Rick Grimes being flown away to a yet disclosed location.
At the end of the trailer, AMC teased the fans of The Walking Dead with the following title “Rick Grimes Returns: Only in Theaters.” The trailer also gives the fans a glimpse of what will come – the Whisperer War. The Whisperers are antagonists, according to the comics, and were first introduced in Season 9.
When Will Rick Grimes Return?
AMC has not confirmed a release date for the first Walking Dead movie. But, the network had confirmed production would begin in 2019–which didn’t happen. AMC Studios Original Films will be producing the film series, which is not a TV movie but the real cinematic deal.
Although AMC has yet to confirm the movie’s release date, we can speculate from Scott Gimple’s earlier statements, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The former series showrunner and now boss for the movie franchise revealed there that the production timeline for the untitled movie would be significant.
The Walking Dead Movie appeared to always be planning for a lengthy production schedule. In the meantime, AMC has no plans to halt the production of The Walking Dead TV series and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead.
As of August 2021, producers updated to say that they were still working to get the story right. They don’t sound like they have a final script, even though they are still working on it and still intend to make the Rick Grimes Walking Dead movie happen. Because they are taking so long and the television series are still running, they are also being forced to change the story. That’s certainly complicating things for them.
The Cast Of The Walking Dead Movie
The only people AMC has confirmed for The Walking Dead Movie are Andrew Lincoln and Pollyanna Mclntosh, who plays Jadis/Anne. The upcoming movies will probably focus on Andrew Lincoln’s character Rick Grimes and his last-second rescue.
After appearing live on the Talking Dead show, Andrew Lincoln confirmed that his joining the film series is “not the beginning of the end,” but “the end of the beginning.”
Word is that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) will show up in The Walking Dead movie to team up with Rick Grimes. Since Rick left the Walking Dead TV series, Negan has reformed and become a better person. However it’s hard to imagine that Rick would be happy to see him… which is of course probably the reason they want to bring Negan in to the movie.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, is also an experienced film actor. That’s something that Andrew Lincoln (Rick) is not. Lincoln has had a few small movie roles over the years, but nothing on the scale of Morgan’s career. Having someone like involved that to help your franchise transition to the big screen would be a real asset.
But a character who seems likely to appear in the movie is Michonne, played by Danai Guirira. Her character departed The Walking Dead on March 23, 2020. Michonne left specifically to search for Rick and is not expected to return to The Walking Dead TV show.
When asked if Michonne’s final episode means she’ll appear in the Rick Grimes movie, Walking Dead boss Scott Gimple had this to say: “With the films, we definitely have plans. But even beyond the current plans, I have some ambitions. I love her and Rick together, but I love seeing her as the pure lead on her own, too. It just so happens that there’s a lot of story terrain to cover. But you’re right: it’s ambitions. Right now, the plans have to do with the feature film.“
Danai Guirira has a significant role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther sequel (which is in the works) where she plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje regiment. At the moment, only Andrew and Pollyanna are confirmed to appear in the movies, but Scott Gimple’s comments make Danai’s appearance in the Rick Grimes movie a near certainty.
Bringing Back Shane?
Jon Bernthal’s Shane only appeared in the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, but arguably no character since has made a bigger and more permanent impact. He was definitely and very clearly killed in season 2, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bring him back for The Walking Dead movie. And the latest information suggests that, in fact, Shane will appear in The Walking Dead film.
The stage was set by Andrew Lincoln’s final episode of the television show. In that finale Jon Bernthal returned to the show when Rick hallucinated his dead, former best friend Shane. Now word is that we’ll see him again in The Walking Dead movie.
Odds are Bernthal’s part in the movie won’t be a big one, but he is supposed to appear. Rumor is that flashbacks will be used to tell the new movie’s story and that he’ll show up in those. Though again, Rick could also just do more hallucinating. Any way they make it happen, fans should be excited to see Shane back.
How Rick Grimes Returns In The Walking Dead Movie
While AMC has yet to confirm the plot for the upcoming Walking Dead Movie, we can speculate from the teaser trailer that the first movie will focus on Rick Grimes’ return from virtual death after being rescued. In the teaser trailer, we see the helicopter head towards an undisclosed location, which appears to be the Philadelphia skyline.
When asked about what the Rick Grimes movie will be about, Walking Dead content chief Scott M. Gimple had this to say…
“We are going to continue to tell Rick’s story, and we are going to discover so much of the world through that story. Rick will be challenged in different ways that, in some ways, everything that he’s been through has sort of prepared him for. It’s a much larger world than one that he had been operating in, and that was challenging in and of itself. Now things are heightened, and just as we’re going to the movies — and it is the movies proper, suitably wide screen — we’re going to be filling that screen with a brand new world.”– -Scott M. Gimple to EW
Following The Walking Dead comic books, fans speculate that Rick Grimes may be heading to the Commonwealth. In the comics, the Commonwealth is a well-defended community with more than 50,000 survivors. The community has some luxury amenities which may explain the well-equipped helicopter Rick Grimes is being flown in.
The sad new is, Scott Gimple has shot down this theory of Rick Grimes relocating to the Commonwealth. As such, it’s expected that the movie will follow a different direction, non-canonical. Since Rick Grimes will not relocate to the Commonwealth, like in the comic books, then Rick will not die in the community.
According to the comic book storyline, the Commonwealth governor’s son kills Rick. He is also killed by his son, Carl, after being reanimated but, we all know that Carl died in the TV series. All fans can do for now is watch out for more updates from AMC.
The Walking Dead has now been on the air for ten seasons and AMC has renewed it for an eleventh. During that time the show’s execs have learned a lot of lessons, lessons which they’ll no doubt apply to the Rick Grimes movie. One of the biggest and perhaps most relevant for the film, is that it is possible to go to far.
AMC’s president Sarah Barnett recently admitted they made a huge mistake in season seven with the introduction of Negan, one that drove people away from the show. She explains…
“In terms of the quality question, I think that with 10 seasons of television — something like ER or Grey’s Anatomy — shows go through spurts. We’ve done a lot of research on the response to it and we certainly have our own thoughts about it. It’s true to say that that season with Negan [a mega-villain played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan] became a little too hopeless for audiences. I think that there was creative intention behind it that was really smart and thoughtful, but I think it probably pushed people to a place where it was a lot to take at a time when maybe people just didn’t want to see that.“
In response to that mistake, Negan’s presence on the show was reduced. By then of course, it was too late and while The Walking Dead retained a large audience, it did lose some viewers.
Expect that lesson to be applied to whatever AMC ends up doing with the Rick Grimes movie, when it arrives.
In the meantime, it seems likely that AMC’s news about the three upcoming Walking Dead movies will have a positive effect on the TV series ratings. Meanwhile, fans of The Walking Dead can continue the show, which kicked off Season 10 without Rick Grimes on October 6th, 2019. It’ll have to keep fans happy, at least until Rick Grimes returns.
The Walking Dead In Real Life
The Coronavirus pandemic isn’t exactly a zombie apocalypse, but seen from the outside it sure looks like one. With everyone locked in their homes the streets are just as empty as they’d be if people were hiding from zombies and not just a virus.
Thanks to those empty streets, we’ve been able to recreate that iconic Walking Dead poster showing the highway to Atlanta bereft of cars, in real life. Here’s both versions side by side…
Actually the real-life version is even more eerie. At least The Walking Dead version has cars (abandoned) going out of the city. This is almost worse.