The Walking Dead film bringing back Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes is in the stage of script "fine-tuning," says screenwriter Scott Gimple, who also doubles as The Walking Dead Universe chief content officer. Gimple first announced the planned movie trilogy following Lincoln's final episode of The Walking Dead in November 2018, which ended with Rick gravely wounded but alive when Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) rescued him, shuttling him away aboard a helicopter belonging to the Civil Republic Military. The fallout from Rick's apparent death has since played out in Seasons 9 and 10 of The Walking Dead, including in the exit episode for Danai Gurira's Michonne, where she finally learned her partner is still alive. Michonne set out to follow a lead on the missing Rick Grimes, whose story will be told on the big screen — eventually.
"That's totally in the writing phase, the phone call phase and the discussion phase," Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter of the still-untitled first Walking Dead feature. "We've been fine-tuning that and playing around with it for a while. That's where we're at now. We were in a stage that just required final drafts and rooms."
Gimple was "refining" the script as of January, telling Entertainment Weekly the plan was still to move forward with three movies but "we are still playing with things. That's the plan right now."
"We are currently refining [the script]. I don't want to say much more than that," Gimple said. "It’s coming together amazingly, but we’re trying to make this very special for everybody involved and we’re holding our feet to the flames. It’s an incredibly deliberate process right now."
A month earlier in December, after more than a year passed without significant updates from the Walking Dead film, McIntosh reassured fans the film is still happening. McIntosh's update came months after a brief first teaser for the film, premiered at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, revealed Rick was transported to Philadelphia.
"I hate giving this answer because it drives people nuts, but we're close to telling more soon," Gimple told ComicBook.com in September at The Walking Dead's tenth season premiere. "We've been working really, really hard."
Gimple is scripting the feature with Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, telling us, "Mr. Kirkman is very involved in this and it's been really fun working with him. We work on the shows and stuff, but working on this, just me and him in a room, has been an incredible joy in a really weird perfect way to be working on this tenth year."
Most recently, while Gimple would reveal TWD Universe will be "telling more stories" with Michonne, the brand boss held off confirming whether or not Gurira will join Lincoln in the film franchise as suspected.
Whoever appears opposite Lincoln and McIntosh in the Walking Dead films, Gimple previously stressed the films will be different from the television shows and will largely stand alone, appealing to a broad audience.
For all things The Walking Dead, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.