The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple hints Danai Gurira's Michonne will first star in her own story en route to joining Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead feature films. Gurira's final episode of the television series, "What We Become," ended with Michonne realizing Rick might still be alive when she found his possessions in a boat washed ashore on Bloodsworth Island. After Rick and Michonne's daughter Judith (Cailey Fleming) urged her to bring the Brave Man home, Michonne travelled north, helping stragglers Aiden (Breeda Wool) and Bailey (Andrew Bachelor) catch up with an organized caravan made up of thousands of migrating survivors.
It's "definitely fair to assume" Gurira will appear in the films, Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter. "There might even be her own story along the way. Some of it has to do with the way we're playing around with the story right now. There's this whole new story strand opened up with her departure."
"Angela [Kang, showrunner] and I talked in very broad ways at the beginning of the season that with Michonne, who stopped and helped someone in Andrea, it changed her life," Gimple added, referring to Michonne's ally Andrea (Laurie Holden), who Michonne left to be torn apart by walkers during a drug-induced nightmare brought on by a dose of jimson weed slipped into her food by Virgil (Kevin Carroll).
"We look at these stories as, 'What was the point of her story? What was it all about?' At the end of her journey where she has these unbelievable hints about Rick and a direction to go in, she still stops to help someone. That's who she is and who she's become," Gimple said. "In some ways, even though she has a whole lot of story ahead of her, that completes her journey on The Walking Dead."
"We felt the ending both sells the story we want to tell — which is, who has she become — but it also opens up a narrative thread that's so tantalizing," Gimple noted. "That is an incredibly huge and organized group that looks nomadic. The Whisperers were certainly nomadic, but they look like a little gathering compared to this group, which is like Coachella marching through the valley."
Gimple wouldn't give away if this story will be told in a Michonne solo movie or a limited series, only confirming he has "ambitions" for the character.
"With the films, we definitely have plans. But even beyond the current plans, I have some ambitions," Gimple said. "I love her and Rick together, but I love seeing her as the pure lead on her own, too. It just so happens that there's a lot of story terrain to cover. But you're right: it's ambitions. Right now, the plans have to do with the feature film."
Gimple previously announced plans for multiple miniseries, specials and other shorter length series, any of which could be used to link a Michonne solo story to her eventual appearance in what is planned to be a feature film trilogy.
On the episode of Talking Dead airing after Gurira's exit episode, Gimple said Gurira was prohibited from taking Michonne's katana as a souvenir because "we're gonna be telling more stories [with Michonne]."
"It was just thrilling to see her character be able to fulfill her arc in the story, while opening up a whole other story while on the road to a story that we want to find out more about, which is Rick," Gimple said. "So yeah, there's more to do with Michonne."