The Walking Dead Movie Producer Addresses Rick Grimes Commonwealth Theory

The Walking Dead movie writer-producer and TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple has shot down theories the missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has been relocated to the Commonwealth.

“No, it does not,” Gimple said at San Diego Comic-Con Friday when asked if the helicopter seen on both The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead has anything to do with the Commonwealth, a community seen so far only in Robert Kirkman’s comic book.

“It is not [related], really emphatically.”

ComicBook.com speculated the movie’s teaser trailer, premiered at Comic-Con, hints Rick was taken to Philadelphia while in the possession of the CRM organization seen on both TWD and Fear.

That would leave the Ohio-based Commonwealth — a network of 50,000-something survivors spread across different settlements — to be explored on the television side of the franchise.

Its introduction might still be ways off as the Commonwealth proved to be endgame for the Walking Dead comic books, which ended in July after Rick Grimes ushered in a new era of society and civilization before he was assassinated by a scorned dissenter.

“Obviously the Commonwealth does mean things to people; we’re starting to seed in some future stories,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told IGN after a Commonwealth Easter egg surfaced in Season 9. “The timing of those stories may not be in the immediate future, but there will be things [in Season 9] that are groundwork being laid for finding out more about the world.”

The world has expanded further with more details behind the group responsible for Rick’s disappearance surfacing on Fear.

Appearing on live after show Talking Dead following his final episode of the television series in November, Lincoln said his joining the offshoot movie franchise was “not the beginning of the end,” but instead “the end of the beginning.”

“And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista. And I’ve always been interested in what’s going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world,” Lincoln said.

“I want to know the meta of it all. And I suppose to be able to kind of touch upon that in a contained story for me is a very exciting proposition.”

Lincoln added that is maybe “the start of a bigger story.” When suggesting the movie trilogy will continue and then complete Rick’s journey, Lincoln compared the stepping off point to Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven.

“If you’ve seen the beginning: There’s a pig farm, and he falls over in the stall. He’s chasing pigs, and you go, ‘Wait a minute. This is a gunslinger. The most bad-ass gunslinger ever, and he’s covered in excrement.’ But you know what he’s capable of because he’s Clint Eastwood. You’ve seen his other movies, and him being A Man With No Name,” Lincoln told EW.

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“I liked that as a starting point, and I thought, well, this is interesting if you’ve got an audience that knows this character, and you find him in a new place, in a new whatever that may look like, and he’s not the same guy, but you know what’s inside of him. I thought that that’s quite an interesting starting point.”

AMC and Universal Pictures have yet to date the first theatrically released Walking Dead movie, which could reach theaters in 2020. The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres on AMC Sunday, October 6.