AMC had previously touted this past Sunday’s The Walking Dead as “Rick Grimes’ last episode“.. *Here be spoilers*
..but Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) ain’t dead. After his supposed sacrifice to save all the characters in the show (that are hard to keep up with), Anne, aka Jadis, (Pollyanna McIntosh) finds a still living Rick on the shore of the river, and takes him to the people with the helicopter in which she is offering up an “A” person.
But AMC! Why did you lie?
Technically, they didn’t. This was Rick Grimes’ last episode of The Walking Dead, but for those who stay tuned for The Talking Dead or hit up THR around the same time, AMC’s Scott Gimple revealed that they now have grander plans in store for the character.
Gimple said that “The story of Rick will go on in films. Right now, we’re working on three but there’s flexibility in that. … Over the next several years, we’re going to be doing specials, new series are quite a possibility, high-quality digital content and then some content that defies description at the moment. We’re going to dig into the past and see old characters. We’re going to introduce new characters and new situations.”
He continued with “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.”
Three feature length films telling the story of Rick Grimes, presumably filling in the gap of the new time jump of 5 to 6 years (?) that happened at the end of this last episode. But these feature films aren’t the only new format that AMC will be taking The Walking Dead.
Staying true to their previous word of having the franchise run another ten years, Gimple revealed that they have possible plans for entire series or special limited run series and more digital shorts. Gimple hopes that these series and shorts give the opportunity for characters who have already died to have more story, or for side characters who weren’t showcased a lot to have more story.
“We don’t want to see people doing the same thing, with the same motivations or people with the same lives; it needs to be differentiated from each other in the types of stories that they’re telling, themes and the tones we’re exploring. A variety of locations is absolutely critical to this. Seeing other parts of the world and making sure that we’re not trying to do the same thing that Michonne, Maggie and Carol and everybody have been doing. We want to tell different stories but in different corners of the world. That’s the exciting thing about it: there is so much possibility with that and so much of this comes from the audience asking questions over these past eight-plus years.”
Ratings may be dipping and interest may be waning, but AMC and The Walking Dead honchos believe there is so much more story left to tell. Whether or not audiences will respond is up in the air, but there are fans out there who will definitely show up for whatever is churned out (good or bad) in the next possible decade.
As for when we should expect the first flick to drop on AMC, Gimple says “soon rather than later.”