The Walking Dead Rick Grimes Movie Ties Teased by TWD: World Beyond Showrunner

The Walking Dead: World Beyond showrunner Matthew Negrete teases elements of "this greater world" of The Walking Dead are coming together in the spinoff, where a series of post-credits scenes are moving towards the feature film return of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). One stinger answered questions behind the "A and B" branding, a mystery started years ago on The Walking Dead, and a second post-credits teaser revealed another peek at the ongoing zombie experiments controlled by the Civic Republic Military. This authoritarian regime is the same group of black-suited soldiers who shuttled Rick away from The Walking Dead aboard one of their many helicopters, flying him to a far-flung and different corner of the zombie apocalypse.

More and more of that shadowy new corner of the Walking Dead Universe is coming to light in World Beyond. It's there that CRM scientist Dr. Lyla Bellshaw (Natalie Gold) supervises zombified test subjects undergoing experimentation inside a secret research facility in New York, where Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt) is — supposedlyseeking a cure to the zombie virus.

"It's a little vague, but it definitely seems like there is something in the works," Negrete told EW about the post-credits scene trailing episode 106, "Shadow Puppets." "We know that Dr. Bellshaw has this photo of herself and Leo and a few other scientists on her desk. We know that one of the scientists we saw in the last episode is now an empty that she seems to be running tests on. And here she pulls out this manuscript that's written by the girl's father that includes a note from Iris that says, 'Hurry up and save the world because we basically want you back at home.'"

Bellshaw answers a phone call from Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond), the Lieutenant Colonel of the CRM, who commanded the extermination orders that massacred the nearly 10,000 souls living inside Nebraska's now-decimated Campus Colony community. And Kublek, who may or may not know what happened to Rick Grimes, is anticipating Bennett's teenage daughters reaching the facility.

"We're basically tying some things together. All these elements and bits of this greater world are going to start coming together," Negrete said. "And what I can say now is that something is afoot. And it seems like there's a plan in place that seems to have potentially something to do with the girl's father. So, there will be more to come for sure."

Negrete wouldn't answer if Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) are Kublek's anticipated guests, but he did say that Kublek "is expecting someone and Elizabeth is very, very interested in these someones."

As World Beyond ramps up its CRM presence in the remainder of its ten-episode first season, the spinoff continues to dole out context about Rick's seven-year-plus disappearance. We now know why Rick hasn't returned home in all that time, and we can infer that his status as a "B" — given to him by the CRM-aligned Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) — means he's not one of Kublek and the CRM's test subjects.

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The two-season World Beyond, consisting of a total of 20 episodes, airs as a runway leading towards the Walking Dead theatrical feature films produced and scripted by series co-creator Scott Gimple. The first film in the planned trilogy is currently undated.

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.