AMC said farewell to Rick Grimes on Sunday night, with a much-hyped The Walking Dead episode that was said to be star Andrew Lincoln’s last on the show. Rick Grimes is still alive, however, and the network has announced he will be leading three spinoff movies set in The Walking Dead universe.
Lincoln has been part of The Walking Dead as Sheriff Rick Grimes since it debuted in 2010, but as of last night’s episode, he is no longer part of AMC’s flagship zombie apocalypse show.
Starting as early as 2019, production is expected to begin on the first of multiple The Walking Dead spinoff movies, which will see Lincoln reprise his role as Rick and air on the network from AMC Studios Original Films. The first installment will follow what happens to Rick immediately after he was taken away from the series, as well as “what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse,” per a press release.
AMC Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple has a multi-year plan for The Walking Dead universe, with numerous additional projects in development. The network’s plans include “films, specials, series, digital content and more,” as we previously reported.
“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 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.”
Despite flagging ratings for the original The Walking Dead, AMC’s flagship show still commands stronger ratings than just about anything on cable television. Fans have already endured a number of fake-outs, showrunner changes and other shake-ups over the original show’s nine-season run, and now they will have to check out a new film series to catch up with their beloved Rick Grimes.