The world of The Walking Dead is about to get a whole lot bigger. Following the conclusion of Rick Grimes' final episode on the series, AMC announced that they are developing original films set in The Walking Dead universe, with the first movie expected to start production next year. [Spoiler warning if you haven't watched episode 9.05.]
If you watched episode 9.05 of The Walking Dead, then you know that although Andrew Lincoln appeared in his final episode of The Walking Dead TV series, Rick Grimes survived the explosion at the bridge and has been whisked away in a helicopter to an unknown destination (although readers of Robert Kirkman's comic book series might have a good idea of where he's headed.)
With a lot going on already at Alexandria and the Hilltop in the series' new time jump storyline, Rick's adventure will continue to be told in a planned trilogy of AMC Studios Original Films written by Scott M. Gimple. The first movie is slated to begin production in 2019, with an overall trilogy of movies planned for the next phase of Rick's post-apocalyptic adventures.
In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Scott M. Gimple mentioned that The Walking Dead movies will "most probably" air on AMC, and that they'll have an "epic" cinematic scope:
"We’re going to tell the story of what happens after that helicopter flight, and these are going to be big, epic entertainments. Each are quality films. That’s what’s been happening in the industry. We’ve seen Netflix make these, basically, studio films for people to watch in their homes, and we’re going to be doing the same sort of thing here."
In his interview with EW, Gimple also confirmed that Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) will be a part of the Walking Dead movie franchise since she is on the helicopter with Rick, and he also hinted at other Walking Dead films outside of the Rick Grimes trilogy:
"We are talking about a trilogy for this Rick Grimes story. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only Rick Grimes stories we’re ever going to tell, and also they’re probably not going to be the only movies that we tell. The Rick Grimes story, of course, is the biggest thing that we’re doing right off the bat, but we’re going to be doing a number of different Walking Dead things over the next few years. A universe of stuff."
In addition to exploring future storylines in the films, Gimple shared that they are looking to feature untold stories of characters from the show's past in possible prequel storylines, with potential new miniseries and series also on the table:
"We’re going to see the past, we’re going to see old characters. We’re going to move into the future with new characters. We’re doing films, we’re doing specials. We’re going to be looking at new series. And even just different expressions of series — not necessarily 16 episodes. We might be doing some mini-series."
Whatever happens next in AMC's The Walking Dead, it truly is "A New Beginning" for viewers just as much as it is for the characters. Visit EW for Dalton Ross' full interview with Gimple, and read AMC's official announcement below:
Press Release: New York, NY – November 4, 2018 – AMC has announced the first projects in development from Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple for The Walking Dead Universe. A series of AMC Studios Original Films, starring Andrew Lincoln and written by Gimple, are planned to continue the story of Rick Grimes, with the first expected to begin production as early as 2019.
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.
As part of Gimple’s multi-year plan for The Walking Dead Universe, there are other projects currently in development, including additional films, specials, series, digital content and more. Some of the stories will relate to The Walking Dead as fans know it while others will be standalone stories that break into new creative territory.
“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,” said 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.”
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse and follows a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse and Denise Huth.
AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed programs on television. AMC was the first basic cable network to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series with “Mad Men” in 2008, which then went on to win the coveted award four years in a row, before “Breaking Bad” won it in 2013 and 2014. The network’s series “The Walking Dead” is the highest-rated series in cable history. AMC’s other current original drama series include “Better Call Saul,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Terror,” “Into the Badlands,” “Humans,” “Preacher,” “The Son,” “McMafia” “Lodge 49,” and the forthcoming “The Little Drummer Girl” and “NOS4A2.” AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like “Talking Dead,” “Talking with Chris Hardwick,” “AMC Visionaries” and “Ride with Norman Reedus.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile.