‘The Walking Dead’ and Andrew Lincoln: What’s Next for Rick Grimes?

The Walking Dead Season 9 episode 5
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in ‘The Walking Dead’ season 9 episode 5 (Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis / AMC)

Spoiler alert: Don’t read any further if you haven’t watched The Walking Dead season nine episode five. The episode was advertised as Andrew Lincoln and his character Rick Grimes’ final episode in the series, but what AMC didn’t reveal in advance was that season nine episode five didn’t put a period at the end of Rick Grimes’ story.

Immediately after the show aired, Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple for The Walking Dead Universe revealed plans for a series of AMC Studios Original Films. The films will continue Rick’s story, with the first film set to go into production early next year. Andrew Lincoln will continue to play the character in the films.

Per AMC: “In Lincoln’s final appearance on the hit series The Walking Dead, the character of Rick Grimes is mortally wounded and last seen being flown away by helicopter to an unknown destination. The first film will explore the story of where Rick is taken and what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse.”

In an interview on Talking Dead, Andrew Lincoln discussed the new projects that will allow him to continue playing Rick. “It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning. And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista,” said Lincoln. “And I’ve always been interested in what’s going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world. I want to know the meta of it all. And I suppose to be able to kind of touch upon that in a contained story for me is a very exciting proposition … Maybe it’s the start of a bigger story.”

Gimple also revealed there will be other films that focus on different characters and storylines within the The Walking Dead Universe. In addition to the original films, Gimple and AMC are planning specials, series, and digital content in this new expanded TWD universe.

“We have a lot on the horizon – starting with a new epic featuring one of the greatest leading actors in television history and one of the best people I’ve ever met,” stated Gimple. “These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features. We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices. We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead.”

“We believe this is a world and narrative with many possibilities and opportunities for character development and we’re excited to expand the series into a franchise that can live across multiple formats,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “For many years, fans have talked about things in the apocalypse they want to see and now we have an opportunity to explore those stories, beginning with the character who started it all, Rick Grimes.”

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