After discovering evidence presumed dead partner Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is still alive in her exit episode of The Walking Dead, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is confident Rick's six-year disappearance means he's being held somewhere against his will. While away with Virgil (Kevin Carroll) on Maryland's Bloodsworth Island in search of weapons needed to destroy Whisperer Alpha's (Samantha Morton) walker army, Michonne's search of a washed up boat turned up Rick's possessions, including his well-worn boots and a left behind cell phone with an etched image of Michonne and daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming). Not only are these signs Rick survived a bridge explosion some six years earlier, but proof he's alive and in trouble.
Everything Michonne does is "always with the same goal, being to help her family," including her one-woman mission to find the Brave Man and bring him home, Gurira told TheWrap. "There's no way the Rick she knows and loves would stay away this long without it being against his will, in her mind."
It was Judith who convinced her mom to set off after her father, telling Michonne over walkie talkie, "We're okay. What if he needs you more? What if he's trying to come home to you, but no one will help him?"
Granted that permission by Judith and RJ (Antony Azor), the son Rick doesn't yet know he has, Michonne headed north with a promise to bring the Brave Man home.
"Her journey to go to the island was all connected to trying to help her community and find a big way, a very definitive way, to end things with Alpha," Gurira said. "The fact that she gets the information from her daughter that Alpha has been defeated, it sort of gives her a degree of permission to take another track."
Asked if this journey brings Michonne into the Walking Dead feature films, where Lincoln reprises the Rick Grimes role, Gurira answered, "We'll have to see. But that really is an open-ended goodbye. She leaves on a quest. And she leaves with a plan to go and find the man she never was quite sure had died. So definitely open-ended. We'll see where it goes."
Rick was last seen in the hands of the Civic Republic Military, owners of the helicopter with the three-circle symbol that took away a gravely wounded Rick when he was found by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) in Season 9 episode "What Comes After." A brief teaser for the Walking Dead film hinted Rick was shuttled away to Philadelphia.
Chief content officer Scott Gimple, who is scripting the film with franchise creator Robert Kirkman, previously revealed the first film would unravel the "vast mythology" behind CRM while answering why Rick never made it home in six-plus years.0comments
"It is about who he is and who he's going to be — and certainly how he deals with the situation he's in," Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. "We know Rick Grimes; he would want to be home."