Many fans of The Walking Dead are eager to learn whatever they can about the return of Rick Grimes in a series of movies planned to be release in theaters, but Andrew Lincoln's future on the series might remain on the small screen due to recent events. While AMC has partnered with Universal Pictures in hopes of premiering Rick's Walking Dead return on the big screen, a recent problem with movie theaters such as AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas could derail those plans. After Universal bypassed big screens with films like Trolls World Tour, The Invisible Man, and The Hunt and put them on VOD qucikly because of the coronavirus shutdown, those theater chains said they would not screen movies that don't honor the release window.
If theater chains hold to their promise of not showing Universal Studios movies in theaters -- and if more join the initiative -- then Rick Grimes won't be seen in many movie theaters around the country and world.
The good news is there is plenty of time for this to change. Both the movie studio and the theaters need each other. Movies like No Time to Die and Fast & Furious films would take a large audience out of the theaters if they are not screened. However, it would also result in a considerable loss for the studio if there are no box office dollars ahead of at-home purchase figures. It's a lose-lose situation if this happens so the theater chains threat might just prompt a strong stance of supporting the theatrical experience with a more definitive stance.
Universal's response to AMC Theaters dropping their films already seemed to indicate support of the box office release format. At the time of publishing theater chains like Alamo Drafthouse, Cinemark, and Santikos have not threatened to cut ties with Universal Studios.
There is plenty of time for this to happen, as well. The Walking Dead has given no indication of when the movies starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes were scheduled to release ahead of the delays which many productions were facing. Now, it is inevitably going to be a longer wait for the film which already felt like it was taking long enough.
This story will inevitably develop and evolve as Universal Studios and the theater chains either come to an agreement... or don't.