What’s the Status of Rick Grimes’ Walking Dead Movies?

Image: AMC

Rick Grimes played by Andrew Lincoln in AMC’s The Walking Dead is one of the few characters that are instantly recognized by even casual everyday viewers. After leading the flagship series for almost 10 years, the character bid its farewell to the show in season 9 episode 5. However, following immediately after this episode, AMC announced a movie trilogy that will star Rick Grimes. Fans at that time were delighted, but 3 years later, there has been little to no update on the movie progress. 

Why did Rick Grimes leave The Walking Dead?

After portraying Rick Grimes since the series inception, Andrew Lincoln was tired from his gruelling shooting schedule in Georgia. The actor is a father of two children and wanted to understandably spend more time with his family in the UK – which became the main reason for him leaving the show. Interestingly, the actor’s last episode aired almost 3 years ago on November 4, 2018. 

Rather surprisingly, Lincoln stated in an interview that the original plan was to kill Rick Grimes at the end of season eight. But the actor and former showrunner Scott Gimple finalised that Rick’s story will continue on the big screen to ease up production schedules of the actor while also expanding the overall franchise. 

“Rick Grimes is an amazing character and Andy has done an amazing performance. 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,”

Scott Gimple, Executive Producer for The Walking Dead

When will Rick Grimes’ The Walking Dead films be released?

Speaking with Comicbook.com, The Walking Dead producer Greg Nicotero said, “I wish I knew, and I wish I could say [when it’s happening]. I’ve read a variety of drafts of the scripts over the last few months. They’re really making sure that they get it right,”

According to Nicotero, the coronavirus industry-wide shutdown has allowed chief content office Scott Gimple and franchise creator Robert Kirkman more time to develop the script for the films. So while the shooting is yet to take place, it seems likely that the script is in its final finetuning process. 

Image: AMC

Speaking about the Rick Grimes’ movie, Series creator Robert Kirkman said, “Andrew Lincoln is amazing, I miss seeing Andrew Lincoln running around as Rick Grimes. I can’t wait until we’re filming this thing and then this thing’s coming out, it’s gonna be awesome.” Kirkman who will make his feature film writing debut with a script co-written by Scott Gimple added, “Everybody’s working very hard to make this thing as good as it can be. All I will say: we don’t want a bad Rick Grimes movie. We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie, so everybody behind the scenes is making sure that when this comes out it was worth the wait and it is actually the special, character-building Rick Grimes journey that everybody wants it to be.

The teen-based spinoff Walking Dead: World Beyond has given us more information on the Civic Republic Miltary, a powerful and possibly largest community in the entire franchise. For those who don’t remember, Rick Grimes was last seen being abducted by a CRM helicopter. Interestingly, Pollyanna McIntosh will return as Jadis in the spinoff show. Considering that she is the only one who knows what happened to Rick, the question will be answered sooner than later. 

While rumours suggest that Andrew Lincoln may return as Rick Grimes in Walking Dead: World Beyond, the ongoing second season will likely still pave way for Rick’s movie even without his appearance.