After Andrew Lincoln left The Walking Dead a trilogy of Rick Grimes movies was announced, but here’s why he’s returning in a TV series instead.
The announcement of the Rick Grimes and Michonne Walking Dead spin-off series confirms AMC left his solo movie too late. Andrew Lincoln was best known for UK shows like This Life or rom-com favorite Love, Actually before becoming The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes. While the AMC series toned down some of the darkness of the graphic novel, the show shared the same mission statement as the source material in charting the evolution of Rick as he and his group struggled to adapt to a post-apocalyptic world.
Lincoln was the backbone of The Walking Dead throughout the first eight seasons. That’s why the actor announcing Rick would depart from The Walking Dead during season 9 was met with shock and heartbreak from fans. The series wisely didn’t kill Rick off, however, with Lincoln’s exit seeing the character risk his life to blow up a bridge to stop a walker horde swarming Alexandria. He was later rescued by Jadis and has been absent ever since. In the immediate aftermath, a trilogy of Rick Grimes movies was announced, and in 2019, it was confirmed these movies would be released in theaters by Universal. Over time, progress on the Rick movies slowly ground to a halt though.
While the Covid-19 pandemic almost certainly impacted plans for The Walking Dead movie, the lack of updates saw excitement for them wither. In July 2022 it was confirmed the Rick Grimes movies had been scrapped entirely, and instead, Lincoln would return for an “epic” six-part miniseries reuniting him with Danai Gurira’s Michonne. There’s renewed excitement about Rick’s return after such a long gap, but it feels like AMC also realized the movie was left in development far too long.
The Long Wait Killed Interest In A Rick Grimes Movie
Following Rick’s departure, there was concern about how The Walking Dead would sustain itself without him. In the years since, not only has the show evolved nicely in his absence, the franchise itself continues to expand. Fear The Walking Dead has (arguably) become the superior show, and various spin-offs are in the works too, including Tales of the Walking Dead and a Daryl solo series. Beloved a character as Rick is, the universe provided it could survive without him, and the seeming lack of momentum on the trilogy of films also saw interest in them dip.
With such a long wait, there was probably concern over how much of an “event” a Walking Dead movie would still be. There’s also the question of accessibility to newcomers since a movie would require a decent amount of foreknowledge of the character and his backstory. The overexposure of the property – which seems to announce a new spin-off every other week – also reduced the uniqueness of a film spin-off, so those factors likely led to the conclusion Rick’s best comeback would be a miniseries. The reunion of Rick and Michonne and the reveal of what he’s been up to in the missing years makes the upcoming series very exciting, though it’s a shame that plans for a Walking Dead movie didn’t come together.
Next: Walking Dead’s Rick Show Is Great, But Creates A Season 11 Problem
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