Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x05 follow. Major spoilers!
Rick's final episode of The Walking Dead revealed Lincoln's character would not leave the show in traditional fashion. Rather than being killed off, a serious injury would leave him susceptible to (and in need of) Jadis and her helicopter people's kidnapping of sorts. His fate was very much open-ended and followed quickly by an announcement of a trilogy of AMC movies which would tell a very different story than the TV series.
In a recent interview, Lincoln might have revealed when to expect the first of these movies: "Everybody thinks I'm a sociopath because I'm not breaking down at every interview," Lincoln told New York Times. "But the truth is that I know that there's something happening next year."
If The Walking Dead movie begins production next year, it likely could arrive on AMC by 2020. At this point, the film does not yet have a script.
With Rick flying off into uncharted territory, the Dead universe will explore content which is entirely unique by comparison to Robert Kirkman's comic books. Though they will air on AMC, Lincoln promises they will be unique. "They're not just longer episodes," the actor said.
"It was a compromise because I didn't want to be disingenuous to fans, but then of course, I didn't want to give away the story," Lincoln said. "It was a concern that we start saying one thing and people are anticipating a death, and we don't give them that. You can't please all people all of the time. That's why I try to stay out of reading about things like that. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning."
Lincoln does promise he is never going to return to The Walking Dead series fans have known him from for more than eight seasons.
As for what the movies will be about, Lincoln can only speak to their possible tones and mysteries. "We talked about Unforgiven, the Clint Eastwood movie, which I admire greatly," Lincoln said. "There's something about Eastwood, who he is as a gunslinger, as an iconic kind of American hero, rolling around in pig swill at the beginning of the movie. You know what he's capable of, and I thought the idea of a character that the audience knows and has lived with — and who has oscillated between psycho and father for nine years — to start in a completely different place, was a really interesting, crazy place to begin. I want to know why we keep seeing helicopters flying around. What's going on? What have the grown-ups been doing while we've been scrambling around in the dirt?"
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.