The Walking Dead movie featuring Andrew Lincoln's return as Rick Grimes will begin filming "at the first available opportunity," Lincoln reveals in an update, and production could start as soon as this spring. Lincoln, who left the ongoing television series during its ninth season, previously estimated a spring-summer shoot on the as-yet-untitled film first announced by Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple immediately following Lincoln's exit episode in November 2018. Nearly three years and one global pandemic later, Lincoln will soon return to the Rick Grimes role in the first film of a big-screen trilogy from Gimple and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman:
"I'm not filming at the moment. I'm still very much in lockdown," the English actor told SFX Magazine. "We're very excited about how, at the first available opportunity, we're going to go into production — there's talk of it being spring. I can't wait to get those cowboy boots."
In July 2020, Walking Dead producers confirmed work was continuing behind the scenes and that filming would start as soon as it was safe to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gimple said later that year the trilogy is still on course to release in theaters via distribution partner Universal Pictures.
"I have signed for more than one film," Lincoln told SFX. "I am a producer on it. I will not be directing, because I don't like watching myself, so that would be a self-defeating exercise. It would just be the most painful... yeah, it just wouldn't happen!"
Gimple previously told ComicBook.com the actor-producer is "very involved" and "very, very interested" in the Walking Dead movie.
"All of those answers will hopefully be resolved in the next couple of months but, yes, there's more than one," Lincoln said. "We need to get the first one absolutely right and that's why it's taken longer than we anticipated — and obviously with the pandemic. I can't wait. I'm really excited about broadening the scale and scope of the story and finding out where Rick is."
Rick's feature film could release in 2022, coinciding with the final stretch of the 24-episode expanded Final Season of The Walking Dead. Lincoln also told SFX he would "never say never" to returning for Season 11, which is expected to film through spring 2022 with returning series regulars Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), and Lauren Cohan (Maggie).
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Final Season of The Walking Dead begins Sunday, August 22, on AMC.