It seems destiny has other plans for one Rick Grimes.
While many had assumed that Andrew Lincoln’s fan-favorite would be killed off at some point during The Walking Dead season 9 – last night’s episode, “What Comes After,” was really the last chance saloon for AMC.
And sure enough, Rick’s story reached an end, but this finale was more of a comma than a definitive full stop, as the Powers That Be have seemingly drawn up plans for a series of movies featuring Andrew Lincoln’s grizzled veteran, whose story has apparently reached the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end.
It’s an interesting angle to take for what is undoubtedly The Walking Dead‘s biggest character, and during a post-mortem interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lincoln himself explained what comes next for Rick Grimes.
It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning. And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista. And 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 … Maybe it’s the start of a bigger story.
Working in tandem with Scott Gimple, Andrew Lincoln was able to future-proof Rick’s saga as far back as season 4, when talk of a spinoff story began to coalesce. And once a crossover with Fear The Walking Dead was ruled out – for now, at least – Gimple and Lincoln began to explore uncharted territory, as opposed to nudging Rick down a similar route to Morgan Jones.
It goes back quite a way. Scott and I spoke in season four — and we share a similar domestic situation in that we both have young families and we were plotting out the rough shape of the next potentially two, three and four years of our lives. We plucked a number out of the air which sounded quite reasonable: if we could make it to season eight. That coincided with my personal reasons — which, on my end, are that kids become less portable as they get older. And yet there was a part of me that thought, “I don’t think I’m done with the guy.” I love this character [of Rick Grimes]; I love the world that we inhabit. So why don’t we try to potentially continue this story in a different way and maybe complete his story so the mothership can continue.
Life without Rick Grimes begins for The Walking Dead on Sunday, November 11th with “Who Are You Now?” – an apt title for what is undoubtedly a major sea change for AMC’s flagship.