‘The Walking Dead’: Big 2020 Ahead as ‘Dead’ Universe Expands

The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple teases big developments out of the blossoming Walking Dead Universe, and hints the first Andrew Lincoln-led Rick Grimes movie will reach AMC in 2020.

“We’re working on a number of things right now, they’re getting very close. We’re gonna have a steady flow of announcements through the rest of the year, and then 2020 is gonna be bananas,” Gimple said on Talking Dead Sunday.

“There’s gonna be some pre-announcements made, we’re gonna have some announcements after that ... but what I will say is Fear the Walking Dead is coming up in June, and there is a story in the first half of the season that has to do with one of these greater stories of the universe that will bring in some of the things that all of you guys have seen before, and it will expand it out just a little bit more, and then we’ll have an announcement.”

Gimple’s hints come shortly after Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman teased soon-to-arrive news in the “Letter Hacks” column backing March’s The Walking Dead #189, writing “there’s just so much cooking behind the scenes with TWD now that Scott Gimple has stepped into his overseer role on the TV side of things.”

“Stay tuned for all kinds of news as we get closer to the launch of Season 5 of Fear The Walking Dead,” Kirkman added, “and we get deeper into development on this Rick Grimes TV movie. There’s some great stuff coming!”

Could Fear Season Five and the looming Rick Grimes movie be linked? Gimple, who oversees all things Dead in his new position as CCO of the brand, took on a creative-executive role in Fear’s semi-rebooted fourth season and is penning the first Walking Dead movie, likely to be the development tied to Gimple’s ambiguous “greater stories of the universe” comment.

If a link exists, it’s likely tied to the elusive helicopter ultimately used to write Lincoln out of The Walking Dead. That storyline, first introduced back in Season Seven, wouldn’t pay off until Season Nine when Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) rescued a gravely wounded Rick, flying away with him aboard a recurring helicopter controlled by an apparently far-reaching community.

And with Fear first porting over Morgan (Lennie James) and then Dwight (Austin Amelio) from The Walking Dead, the mothership series and the spinoff have never been more intertwined.

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2020 was previously hinted at as the release window for the first Walking Dead movie when Gimple told EW the project was “most likely” filming in 2019, adding work on the films would get underway “sooner than later.” Gimple previously reported Kirkman was heavily involved with the project.

The Walking Dead next airs its Season Nine finale Sunday, March 31 at 9/8c on AMC. Development on The Walking Dead Season Ten, due out in October, is now underway with Angela Kang again serving as showrunner, while Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg return as showrunners on Fear the Walking Dead Season Five, to release in June.