SPOILER ALERT: Yeah, sorry about that headline, but obviously, this is a SPOILER for the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’, even though… it’s kind of SPOILED already.
Andrew Lincoln walked away from ‘The Walking Dead’ series, but apparently, that doesn’t mean that he is done with portraying lead character Rick Grimes. Earlier this year, word emerged that ‘The Walking Dead’ would expand into films. The series’ former showrunner who was promoted to oversee all things ‘Walking Dead’, Scott M. Gimple said in April, “All the differences of the ways we tell the story, yeah, what we can feature all that. There’s a whole universe of possibilities.” As it turns out, AMC will be creating movies for ‘The Walking Dead’, but not in theaters. Gimple states that the hope is that AMC will bankroll three TV movies, with theatrical budgets to further expand the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ and that they will follow the further exploits of Rick Grimes, following the events of the present ninth season. “There is more story to tell and we’ll be telling it,” Gimple remarked.
He also added:
“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.
“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.”
Gimple is presently writing a script for the first movie. Lincoln has divulged that his exit from the weekly series has been in the works for years now and that originally, plans were for Rick to be killed off. But that changed when the idea to expand into TV movies emerged. Lincoln chose to quit the series because it demanded that he spend nine months out of the year filming it when he had a family back home in England. Wanting to spend more time with them, he turned in his resignation. But with the new movie idea moving forward, he would only be required to film in the U.S. for about two months a year.
The ‘Walking Dead’ movies may be presented in a different format than the TV show. AMC is seeking a partner to shoulder half the financial burden of producing “large, big scope movie that will feel like a major motion picture.”
AMC programming president David Madden divulged:
“We’re trying to expand into as many different places as the show fits. We think this is a franchise that could live across formats. We want to do it carefully, be strategic and do it right. There is a multiple-year plan that could include additional series, digital content and specials. We’re looking to broaden this into a universe where the movies that Andy will be in are the highest-profile things that we do.”
In addition to the three Rick movies, there is a desire to expand into shows that could run for 16 episodes or short-order miniseries. Also in the works are projects that focus on characters that are no longer part of the larger series. “I have one of those stories in progress right now,” Gimple confessed. “[That would] not only give us a chance to work with these wonderful people again but to answer questions about their characters.”
Considering that ‘The Walking Dead”s viewership is rapidly shrinking, is there really a demand for that much more product?
“Oversaturation is a word I’ve been thinking about. We’re not putting all this stuff out at once but have a very long view of everything. And we’re not going to show them all at the same time.”
Are you intrigued by the idea of big budget ‘Walking Dead’ movies with Andrew Lincoln? What other ideas or characters should be explored?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter