The Walking Dead feature film starring Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes is "coming along in a big way" despite a prolonged pause in production amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to executive producer David Alpert. First announced by Walking Dead chief content officer and former showrunner Scott Gimple immediately following Lincoln's departure from the AMC television series in November 2018, the untitled feature film is the planned start of a trilogy and will reveal what happened to Rick and Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) — formerly Jadis of the Scavengers — after they were shuttled away aboard a Civic Republic Military helicopter and taken to a new corner of the zombie apocalypse.
"We're coming along in a big way. We're just in this particular space where we have [to wait]," the Skybound Entertainment co-founder said during virtual Skybound Xpo panel Skybound: Past, Present, and Future. "We can't shoot right now, so that's just the big thing holding us back."
"We are desperate to get back into production, and get everything going," Alpert added, "but we have something really exciting, really unique, really different, and can't wait to get it going. We just have to wait for it to be safe."
Also heavily involved with the franchise's first film is Skybound co-founder and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who says Rick's return on the big screen will benefit from the industry-wide slowdown caused by COVID-19.
"There's tons of stuff going on behind the scenes. I don't want anyone to think that we're just kind of waiting around for this pandemic to end," Kirkman said. "I would say that, if anything, the pandemic is going to make a lot of movies better. I think the Rick Grimes movie chief among them, just because we're getting a lot more time to cook this thing and make sure it's perfect."
"But when things do quiet down, you guys are going to hear a ton more about this movie," Kirkman added.
A teaser trailer released during San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019 hinted Rick and Anne were transported to Philadelphia, a so-far unexplored corner of the live-action Walking Dead Universe. In Season 10 of The Walking Dead, Michonne (Danai Gurira) left Virginia on a rescue mission after discovering evidence the missing Rick is still alive.