Andrew Lincoln will reprise his role of Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead's first spinoff movie, centering around Rick's encounter with the helicopter group who rescued him in the closing moments of his final episode of the television series.
The first film in the planned trilogy, to premiere on AMC, will explore the "vast mythology" behind the community trading for "A" and "B" people and will be told from Rick's point of view, Gimple told THR.
"That serves the overall story to this next story we have for Rick," Gimple revealed.
Because Rick's sendoff from the mothership series culminated in a cliffhanger — Rick is alive, taken to parts unknown, and presumed dead to those closest to him — the movie will arrive "soon rather than later."
The Walking Dead's long-running helicopter mystery deepened Sunday when it was revealed Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) rescued a severely wounded Rick Grimes, classifying her prize as a "B" before absconding with him in a helicopter.
Rick was previously determined to be an "A" when he was first taken captive by Anne, then acting as Scavenger leader Jadis, in 806, "The King, the Widow, and Rick."
Jadis held Rick captive within a shipping container she very clearly marked "A" in chalk, and later gave Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) the same designation when he was Jadis' prisoner and the subject of a botched trade with the helicopter.
After dropping the Jadis facade and integrating into Alexandria as Anne, she struck up a romantic relationship with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam). When Gabriel caught her negotiating a clandestine deal with the helicopter group and threatened to alert Rick Grimes, Anne tried to persuade him to steal away with her, to a far off and better place.
But when Gabriel declined the invitation, Anne attacked, telling him, "All this time, I thought you were a 'B.'"
When Anne finds a battered and bloodied Rick Grimes washed up in the river bank after a sacrificial play that obliterated the bridge and a herd of relentless walkers, she radios to the helicopter, alerting them of a "B" and desperately attempting to make a deal.
"I'm trying to save a friend. A friend who saved me. I have something for you now," she yells into the radio, screaming for the exchange to be accepted.
The helicopter makes its descent, collecting Anne and a weak — but still alive — Rick, who are then flown away to parts unknown.
Anne was previously told it would take an "A" to grant her passage to the faraway place, but "B"s have value — and Rick Grimes is one of them.
"So, here's what I'll say about an A and a B. She originally thought Gabriel was a B," showrunner Angela Kang told EW.
"The A and B has something to do with the thing that she was involved in which was human trading, and it was a way to differentiate between classes of people. She thought that Gabriel was a B. She knew that Rick and Negan were A's but she now thinks that Gabriel is also an A. So I'll just say that, because I think anything more, I might get in trouble."
Because Rick and Negan were both restrained and held prisoner, an "A" could signify a noncompliant target.
A "B" would then be a passenger who comes along without resistance: remember, Anne registered Gabriel a "B" after they drew close, believing he would accept her offer to sneak away together.
With Rick incapacitated, having sustained near-fatal injuries from the bridge explosion, he would then be switched from an "A" to a "B." Whatever the true meaning, audiences will have to tune in to the television movie to see that mystery resolved.
"The Walking Dead series is an anchor to all this, spiritually, and we want to make sure that series is healthy and strong. … There's a very long plan and within the movies, there's ways that things could maybe cross-pollinate," Gimple said of continuing the television series with the core cast as the universe expands.
"But we're not going to see them fly off in their own helicopters."1comments
Lincoln's first Walking Dead movie is expected to begin production in 2019. AMC has yet to announce a release date.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.