Lincoln’s closing moments on the series featured a mortally wounded Grimes being loaded onto a helicopter, his fate in question and his destination unknown. According to AMC, the first film in Grimes’ new adventure, which could begin production as early as 2019, will “explore the story of where Rick is taken and what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse.”
Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple will pen the upcoming feature film as part of a multiyear deal with AMC that encompasses “other projects currently in development, including additional films, specials, series, digital content and more.”
“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,” Gimple said in a statement.
“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.”
In July, Lincoln confirmed the rumor that he would depart The Walking Dead midway through its eighth season. “This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” the actor revealed at Comic-Con. At the time and through Season Nine, it was believed that Rick Grimes would ultimately be killed off like so many of the series’ characters; however, it appears that Lincoln and his Grimes are simply finished with Walking Dead the series, not Walking Dead the franchise.