Two years after a cryptic Comic-Con teaser revealed Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes returns only in theaters, creator Robert Kirkman says The Walking Dead Movie will be "worth the wait." The long-stalled spin-off movie, announced by Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple following Lincoln's exit from the flagship television series in November 2018, was set as an AMC Original movie before shifting to a theatrical exclusive under Universal Pictures at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. With the missing Rick still a no-show in TWD Universe two years later, Kirkman jokes The Walking Dead Movie release date is "definitely going to be before 2032."
"I wish that there were more updates. There's a lot going on behind the scenes," Kirkman said about the Rick Grimes movie during his pre-recorded Robert Kirkman@Home Q&A at virtual Comic-Con@Home 2021. "It's entirely possible that there are some details that are coming out around Comic-Con that I just don't know we're allowed to talk about yet, so I'm being a good boy and I'm not gonna spoil anything. But I will say there's exciting stuff happening behind the scenes and I am as frustrated as you guys are that we have not been able to reveal everything to you and talk about it nonstop."
AMC Networks did not provide an update on The Walking Dead Movie during its three separate TWD Universe panels Saturday. During a presentation for The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Gimple dispelled rumors that Lincoln would appear in Season 2 of the spin-off returning with new episodes this fall on AMC.
"Andrew Lincoln is amazing, I miss seeing Andrew Lincoln running around as Rick Grimes. I can't wait until we're filming this thing and then this thing's coming out, it's gonna be awesome," said Kirkman, who makes his feature film writing debut with the script he co-wrote with Gimple. "Everybody's working very hard to make this thing as good as it can be. All I will say: we don't want a bad Rick Grimes movie. We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie, so everybody behind the scenes is making sure that when this comes out it was worth the wait and it is actually the special, character-building Rick Grimes journey that everybody wants it to be."
Kirkman continued: "We're not going to be rushing this thing out, and we're going to make sure that it's perfect. So that's what's going on behind the scenes. And when it finally comes out, when we're showing trailers and stuff, you'll see. You'll be like, 'That's exactly what we wanted. I'm so glad they waited.'"
Kirkman previously described the film, about what happens to Rick after his fateful helicopter flight away from The Walking Dead, as "very much a Rick story" focused on the character Lincoln has portrayed since 2010.
"I think being able to focus more on Rick as a character and do more with him is really cool. I think it's gonna be a very different kind of Walking Dead story, which is really exciting," Kirkman told ComicBook earlier this year. "When you're doing something like this you have to make sure that it makes sense for it to be a movie. This isn't just some kind of expansion of what you're expecting from the show. This is something that's gonna be very different but it's gonna be the Rick Grimes that we all know and love."
In April, Lincoln confirmed he's signed onto multiple films and will produce The Walking Dead Movie co-starring Pollyanna McIntosh as Anne, the survivor formerly known as Jadis of the Scavengers. Veteran franchise producer Gale Anne Hurd is also onboard the project from AMC Studios and Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment with Universal Pictures as distributors.