When someone mentions Rick Grimes, there are several things that immediately come to mind: a natural-born leader, a pillar of any zombie-apocalypse community, devoted friend, and caring father – in short one of those indispensable characters that you just can’t do without. All that understandably lead us to believe that he’s somehow immune to death and that the Grim Reaper will mercifully spare him for the sake of his friends and fans. Well, in any other TV series perhaps, but not in The Walking Dead. This is the show that notoriously doesn’t cut slack to anyone, where there are no favorites and even the members of the leading cast may die a gruesome death. That’s why what we witnessed in the latest episode understandably caused quite a stir and controversy among the fandom of The Walking Dead show.
***SPOILERS IN VIDEO***
When we last saw him (spoiler alert!), Rick Grimes had sacrificed himself by blowing up the bridge overrun by walkers in order to save Alexandria and his friends. He fell into the water, but was apparently rescued and was transported by helicopter in an unknown direction. Naturally, no one could’ve survived that…except maybe the great Rick Grimes. Of course, on the first glance, his destiny is uncertain, his life apparently hanging by the thread, but now we know that this wasn’t the end of the road for him, but a new and exciting beginning. As Andrew Jackson, the actor who masterfully played Grimes himself remarked: “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.” Jackson’s character may have left the flagship show, but it has been officially confirmed that AMC will produce a series of three full-feature, big-budget movies dedicated to the further adventures of legendary Rick Grimes.
Apparently, after eight years of constant shooting, Jackson had grown somewhat tired of the whole ordeal and had wanted to spend more time with his family. The movie format will provide him more time and flexibility to do just that, because he will be required to spend just two months per movie, in comparison to nine for The Walking Dead show. However, despite his wish to retreat from the series which made him famous, Andrew is self-professed fan and admirer of The Walking Dead show, and he came up with the concept of these cinematic spin-offs in the collaboration with Scott M. Gimple, the writer, producer and former showrunner of the show.
Understandably, we still don’t know too much about the story of the upcoming movies, but we do know that Rick Grimes movies will broaden the scope of the original show in an interesting and exciting way. As Gimple hints, the first movie will probably be related to the enigmatic helicopter-owning community, the ones who presumably saved Rick in the first place. More importantly, they won’t be done in the manner of extended episodes of the show, but with even better production values, just like in some ambitious Hollywood blockbusters. In fact, Gimple reveals that AMC’s plans are much grander than anyone might’ve expected.
If the concept proves successful (which, despite apparent drops in the ratings and increasingly negative critiques concerning the alleged fluctuations in the quality of the show) seems more than likely, everything will be raised to a higher level. First of all, why stop at just three movies: Gimple indicates that Rick Grimes storyline can easily be expanded even further with additional movies. Then, (and this is a special treat for all fans of the show), although Rick isn’t part of The Walking Dead storyline, he’ll probably cross paths with his dear friends such as Daryl or Michonne. Thankfully, Gimple and AMC are looking at an even bigger picture. After all, there’s the whole world infested with the zombie menace, so there are many stories worth telling in other locations across the globe. Think of it in similar categories as Marvel or DC universe, only with zombies. One zombie-infested universe, but many different protagonists and many interconnected stories.
All this undoubtedly sounds very exciting, especially because possibilities for interconnecting all these various storylines and locations are practically limitless. Of course, for now, the most important thing is that Rick Grimes isn’t dead and that he’ll continue his pursuit for safety, normality, and happiness in the series of movies that just might turn out even better than the original TV show.