The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman promises "all kinds of news" to come out of the blossoming Walking Dead Universe as the writer-producer and chief content officer Scott Gimple get deeper into development on the first television movie centered around Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
"Season 9 of the show is in full swing! And I hope you guys are as thrilled to see THE WHISPERERS come to life as we are here at Skybound Central," Kirkman wrote in the Letter Hacks column closing out this month's The Walking Dead #189.
"New showrunner Angela Kang has just been doing marvelous work over there. And Greg Nicotero's work (both directing and overseeing the makeup effects) continues to be a high water mark. And there's just SO MUCH cooking behind the scenes with TWD now that Scott Gimple has stepped into his overseer role on the TV side of things. Stay tuned for all kinds of news as we get closer to the launch of Season 5 of Fear The Walking Dead and we get deeper into development on this Rick Grimes TV movie. There's some great stuff coming!"
Fear Season Five is due out this summer on AMC. The network next backs a planned trilogy of television movies starring Lincoln in what will be his first return to the Walking Dead Universe since permanently exiting the mothership series in November, ending an eight-year run.
Gimple, who pens the untitled Rick Grimes movie, previously reported Kirkman is "heavily involved" with the project following Rick and Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) sometime after Rick's disappearance and presumed death in the front half of The Walking Dead Season Nine. Anne rescued the gravely wounded Rick after he exploded a bridge to halt an advancing horde of walkers, fishing Rick out of a riverbank before absconding with him aboard a helicopter to parts unknown.
Though details remain scarce, Gimple confirmed when announcing the movie audiences will come to learn the "vast mythology" behind the helicopter community and their still undefined "A" and "B" classification system.
"It is really important for the audience to know that we are going to be continuing to tell the story of Rick Grimes in these AMC Studios original films. We don't want this thing to be like, 'Oh, well, he'll be back on the show any moment now.' We are telling Rick's story in another medium, and it's going to be these AMC Studios original films," Gimple told EW in November.
"They're going to be on AMC, most probably. They're centered around Rick Grimes. We're going to tell the story of what happens after that helicopter flight, and these are going to be big, epic entertainments."
Though Lincoln claims he knows little about the next adventure in store for Rick, the star expects the three-picture deal to continue and then "maybe complete" Rick's story. Lincoln has since drawn comparisons to Clint Eastwood's 1992 Western-drama Unforgiven.
"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," Lincoln previously told the New York Times.
"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?"
Asked if that comment hinted at governmental involvement, Lincoln refused to reveal more. "I don't want to give away — well, I don't know the story actually, so I can't give anything away," he said.
AMC has yet to mark a release date for its first Walking Dead movie. The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC, ahead of the summer return of Fear the Walking Dead Season Five.
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