Major and Minor Spoilers Follow. While specifics aren’t tackled, information that sheds light on recent events is unavoidable. If you aren’t caught up on the show PLEASE come back once you have.
This week brought the moment that most fans of The Walking Dead had been hotly anticipating for sometime. The departure of one of it’s longest standing actors, Andrew Lincoln and his character of Rick Grimes. Some were delighted by the move, others crushed, but the show attempted to do him justice. While, of course, throwing in a few of its trademark twists along the way. The how’s and what’s of the events that transpired won’t be discussed here. As that’s territory better suited for our cohorts over at Media Rewind. Whose in-depth recap will be hitting Monday evening.
The mild spoilers start here and inform the rest of your article. Again, come back and read this once you’ve watched “What Comes After”.
Those who chose to turn the channel or have a nice long cry after witnessing Andrew Lincoln “ride off into the sunset”, missed something of a bombshell. The Talking Dead proved be the insightful watch as it always is, while doling out some unexpected news. Turns out, while Rick Grimes may be done with The Walking Dead, that Universe isn’t quite finished with him yet. That’s right, 3 Rick Grimes lead feature-length films are being made by AMC Studios. They’ll all air on AMC, starring Lincoln and written by Chief Content Officer Scott M. 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,” Gimple said on the talk show. “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.”
In his interview with host Yvette Nicole Brown, Lincoln said “It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning.” He further added, “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.”
This of course is all part of a longer plan for AMC, as it concerns a The Walking Dead Universe. One which includes more future films, specials, series and an assortment of digital content. Lincoln had been expressing interests in exploring other projects, so this move would seem the best of both worlds.
Something of this nature isn’t uncommon in the world of television. Programs like the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5 and Farscape all have gone that route. Either as tie-ins between seasons or to wrap up a show properly. The biggest comparison would likely be that of Doctor Who. That program has long dabbled in specials. They even had a set of self-contained movies, which rounded out David Tennant’s tenure in the role.
The real question here is: what do you all think? Are there Walking Dead fans ravenous for the further adventures of Rick Grimes? Does the prospect of a TWD Universe excite you or bore you? Are you more so displeased by AMC going about the “bait and switch” tactic after months readying to say goodbye? Rattle off in the comments below. Production is set to begin on the first film (they’ll likely give Lincoln a break in between them) next year. We’ll keep our fingers firmly on the pulse, when further developments crop up.