When Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) went missing — presumed dead — in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, AMC announced that his story would continue on the big screen.
Rick had been severely injured during a bridge explosion and those surrounding him believed he perished there.
However, it was revealed to viewers that Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) had radioed in help from the Civic Republic Military (CRM) and Rick was flown away by helicopter in order to receive medical assistance.
Little was heard after that regarding Rick until Michonne (Danai Gurira) discovered he was alive in Season 10. She then left to search for him.
Finally, when Season 11 concluded, a bonus scene was added, detailing more of Rick and Michonne’s story.
Originally, Rick’s story was set to be explored in a trio of movies. However, that has since morphed into something else entirely.
The Rick Grimes movies changed to a TV series
At first, back in 2018, AMC revealed that Rick’s story would hit the big screen in a trio of movies. Over time, though, while not explicitly stated, it looked more likely that this would be just one movie.
There were various reasons why this changed, one of them being the fact that we went through a global coronavirus pandemic that saw the production of all movies and TV shows halting.
Since then, things have changed once more and AMC made the announcement during The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year that the pair would now return in a limited series.
Set to span six episodes, in theory, this still means that viewers are getting three movies — they are just broken down into smaller installments.
So how did this all come about?
A Walking Dead director reveals how things changed
According to Greg Nicotero, one of the directors of The Walking Dead, things happened organically regarding the transition from a series of movies to a TV show.
“Several iterations of the (movie) script flew around and it just ended up not coming to fruition,” Nicotero explained to Den of Geek.
While movies were now out of the works, the franchise decided not to give up on the concept altogether.
“The idea of doing a Rick Grimes show popped up a year and a half ago probably. I don’t think anybody really thought it was gonna happen. Lo’ and behold, as we get closer we start realizing ‘look, if we’re not going to do the movies then maybe there’s a show there.”
Viewers still have to wait a little while longer to find out what happens next for Rick and Michonne, though. According to Fansided, filming on the new spinoff will not begin until January of next year.
The Rick Grimes and Michonne spinoff series will drop in 2023.