While The Walking Dead has valiant plans for its future, the franchise might have missed the opportunity for impactful Rick Grimes movies. Andrew Lincoln is set to reprise his role as Rick, but very little has been released about the films since their announcement in 2018. As a result, fan interest has started to wane through the radio silence. Now that it has been three years since Rick’s exit from The Walking Dead, it may be too late for the sheriff’s trilogy to succeed.
Rick Grimes was believed dead after setting off an explosion to keep a walker herd from infiltrating their communities. Without a body to confirm his death, Daryl took off into the wilderness on a quest to find proof of his best friend’s fate, and Michonne was left to raise Judith and R.J, or Rick Grimes Jr., on her own. The communities were forced to reorganize without Rick at the helm. But Rick wasn’t dead at all; Anne discovered him after being swept down the riverbank and sent off on one of the mysterious black helicopters to have his injuries treated. Rick’s departure came after actor Andrew Lincoln announced he wanted to step back after season 9 and spend time with his family. Though Lincoln was looking to step back from the high demand of filming the series, he wanted to ensure that Rick’s story saw its proper end.
The Rick Grimes movies were originally announced back in 2018 on The Talking Dead. The films were going to be a trilogy, focusing on Rick’s fate after being taken away by the helicopter. After Rick’s dramatic exit and building interest toward the mysterious society, the announcement was met with high interest. However, the long delay between Grimes’s exit and the films’ release might have spelled its doom.
Why The Rick Grimes Walking Dead Movie Is Taking So Long
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected filming across the board. The Walking Dead faced serious restrictions while filming the bonus episodes for season 10, balancing limited numbers of extras, restrictive filming locations, and international actors stuck in their home countries. While The Walking Dead used pandemic restrictions to create more unique and intimate stories, it wouldn’t lend itself well to filming a theatrical trilogy. Currently, the films have yet to start filming as the script is still being developed.
Multiple Walking Dead creatives have attributed the delay to wanting to do the right. Greg Nicotero, producer and special effects expert, told ComicBook.com that the long wait lies in the desire to make the movies perfect. Nicotero says he has “read a variety of drafts of the scripts over the last few months,” adding that they’re “really making sure they get it right.” Producer Gale Anne Hurd explained in an interview with Variety that the struggle has been matching the scale of the movies to the level of production Walking Dead fans expect from the television series: “When the series itself has such a large scope, you have to make sure that the scope of the film matches the demands of a theatrical audience, but also continues with the nuanced characters that people come to expect from the TV series.”
The Walking Dead Is In Danger Of Burning Itself Out
As time goes on, The Walking Dead franchise has continued to grow; however, the series is running the risk of burning itself out trying to do too much at once. Currently, The Walking Dead has three ongoing series; The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Two more spinoffs have been confirmed for after the season 11 finale — Tales of the Walking Dead and an untitled Carol and Daryl spinoff — along with a handful of other Walking Dead spinoffs. Add in the Rick Grimes trilogy, and the franchise has a lot on their plate; balancing all of that might have The Walking Dead spreading itself too thin.
With the comics and the main series coming to an end, plus a plethora of spinoffs to choose from and keep track of, the Rick Grimes movies would have to be something seriously special to amp up any excitement from even the oldest fans. The franchise also runs the risk of deviating too far from the source material. While some deviations can help to keep even veteran fans interested, major changes — like killing off Carl Grimes, Rick’s son — come with the risk of seriously upsetting the fan base.
The Rick Grimes Walking Dead Movie Is Too Late
The race for perfection has seriously delayed the release of the Rick Grimes movies. While the trilogy was met with high excitement upon their announcement, the long wait and lack of any kind of update have reduced audience interest in the films. Though Lincoln is greatly missed among the cast, the storyline has ultimately moved on without Rick, giving the series a chance to explore the other beloved characters that make up The Walking Dead. With very little information having been released about the movie trilogy, it’s unlikely they will be released before the main TWD series concludes in 2022 — they haven’t even started filming, after all — meaning the movies will likely have little to no effect on the main storyline. Fans’ interest in the project has been steadily decreasing, and despite reassurances that the films are still happening, some have started to question if they’ll ever be released. As the main series heads into its final season, the franchise will have to take action in order to secure interest in its post-finale projects.
Interest in Rick’s fate was high when he made his dramatic exit from the series back in season 9 and again in season 10 when Michonne discovered evidence that Rick was still alive. Releasing more information about the films around that time might have been enough to keep interest in the movies alive, but the radio silence surrounding the project has ultimately dimmed most of the excitement for the Rick Grimes movies. Michonne (Danai Gurira) has also since left the series, though the possibility of Rick’s katana-wielding better half appearing in the trilogy has been left open. While a film trilogy featuring the two would have once been a crowning jewel for AMC’s power franchise, it is too late now for The Walking Dead films to reach their truest potential.