AMC Responds to Rumors Rick Grimes Returns in The Walking Dead: World Beyond

An AMC spokesperson denies widely-circulated rumors that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) appears in the first season finale of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, a spinoff involving the mysterious group who flew Rick away from The Walking Dead. In the flagship show's ninth season, Rick goes missing and is presumed dead when he blows up a bridge to halt a zombie horde. When Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) discovers Rick wounded but alive, she urges a helicopter piloted by the Civic Republic Military to touch down and save him. This group is a threat in World Beyond, and they are behind Rick's lengthy disappearance, but Lincoln does not appear in the season finale airing December 6.

An AMC representative told Insider that an IMDb credits page listing Lincoln among the show's cast is "not accurate." The listing, which has since been updated to remove Lincoln's name, had the Rick Grimes actor appearing in season 1 episode 10, "In This Life."

According to Insider, "The individual expressed concern fans would be disappointed if they expected to see Rick in the episode only for him to not appear."

Some Twitter users over the weekend took notice of Lincoln's credit for World Beyond and began to question whether Rick would return, but IMDb allows members with accounts to add or edit filmography credits. While the database does have eligibility guidelines, user-submitted updates are often inaccurate.

While Rick won't be appearing on this season of World Beyond, the two-season limited event series does tie into the Walking Dead feature films marking Lincoln's return to the franchise. The spinoff has already answered burning questions about Rick's captors and gave viewers a taste of the film trilogy with a post-credits scene involving CRM zombie experiments, an extension of the "A and B" mystery started on The Walking Dead.

After December's season finale, World Beyond will return at a later date with a ten-episode second season. Next season could lead directly into the Walking Dead films from World Beyond co-creator Scott Gimple, the chief content officer overseeing the entire TWD Universe.

The untitled feature film, planned as the start of a theatrically-released trilogy, is still on the way but suffered a delay in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lincoln and McIntosh could be joined by former Walking Dead star Danai Gurira, who exited the main show this past year when she set off in search of Rick. AMC, Skybound, and theatrical partner Universal Pictures have not announced any details surrounding the film but did release a brief teaser at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019.

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"They're a constant presence in this story," Gimple said about the black-suited CRM during a virtual World Beyond Comic-Con panel over the summer. "They're a huge presence in this story, and it explains a lot towards what we've seen on the other shows and it invites new questions." Gimple added there's "a lot we're going to learn" about the people who took Rick Grimes.

Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond premiere Sundays at 10/9c on AMC.