The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple on Saturday explained the meaning behind the three-circle symbol seen on the helicopter responsible for the disappearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a symbol later identified in connection with the CRM organization who surfaced in Fear the Walking Dead.
“We’ve seen that three-circle symbol... those three circles, and I’m saying it here, represent three different civilizations that are bound and entwined in some ways and in some ways very, very different,” Gimple said at New York Comic Con during the panel for AMC’s upcoming third TWD series, centered around the first generation raised after the fall of civilization. The setting of that series, revealed in the spinoff’s first trailer, is “one of those places,” Gimple teased.
The still untitled TWD3 is set a decade into the apocalypse, putting it in sync with present day on the mothership series. There Rick disappeared six years earlier when Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), who was secretly in contact with CRM, fished a gravely wounded Rick out of a river following his apparent death in a bridge explosion.
TWD3 is “very much on its own,” Gimple said, noting “there are points where there is a little bit of crossover” with the wider TWD Universe.
The mystery of the three-circle groups will be explored in the coming spinoff, which “very much gets very deeply into that mythology,” said Gimple, who co-created TWD3 with TWD veteran Matthew Negrete. “As far as Rick’s story is concerned, it’s very, very separate, but we’re gonna get a very good look at just how big the world of The Walking Dead is.”
Following their introduction on TWD — the helicopter that would ultimately abduct Rick first appeared in Season 7 — CRM resurfaced on Fear Season 5, currently set roughly seven months before Rick’s presumed death and subsequent disappearance.
The mystery of the shadowy organization is one that has been unfolding for years.
“Scott Gimple knew what the helicopter was for a long time,” TWD showrunner Angela Kang previously told THR ahead of Rick’s Season 9 exit. “He was a little secretive, even with [the writers’ room], about what it was. He did let me in on some of it at some point last year [in Season 8]. We went into this season with a pretty good knowledge about the intention behind the helicopter and where it would lead.”
Intertwined with CRM is the “A” and “B” classification system, used so far to categorize Rick, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). Answers behind those labels will come in the Walking Dead movie trilogy, starring Lincoln’s Rick, who may have been relocated to Philadelphia.
The first film, penned by Gimple, will explore the “vast mythology” behind the helicopter group, Gimple told THR last November. “That serves the overall story to this next story we have for Rick,” Gimple said.
TWD Season 10 premieres on AMC Sunday, Oct. 6, ahead of the Spring 2020 premiere of TWD3. The Rick Grimes movies, set for theatrical release under Universal Pictures, have yet to announce a release date. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.