The Walking Dead is ending — but the story of Rick and Michonne is far from over. At San Diego Comic-Con, stars Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira revealed they're reuniting in a new Walking Dead spinoff series that will replace the Rick Grimes movie trilogy previously announced by AMC. As the last-ever episodes of The Walking Dead wrap up later this year without the fan-favorite couple, Gurira said the as-yet-untitled series will bring fans "the conclusion of this story of Rick and Michonne." The end of that story begins with a six-episode first season set to premiere in 2023 on AMC+.
Series creator and showrunner Scott M. Gimple, the Chief Content Officer of AMC's TWD Universe, revealed the first details about the Rick/Michonne spinoff during The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special live on Talking Dead Sunday.
"I've been working on it very, very deeply with Danai and with Andy, and we continue to work on it pretty much every day together with some Walking Dead vets and some great new voices," said Gimple, who will serve as executive producer with the creatively involved Lincoln and Gurira. "It's an epic love story, but it's an epic and insane love story."
The series reunites Rick and Michonne more than six years after a gravely injured Rick disappeared aboard a Civic Republic Military helicopter in an episode of The Walking Dead. After Michonne uncovered evidence that Rick survived his apparent death, she set out to find her partner and bring him home to their children: Rick Grimes Jr. (Antony Azor) and Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming).
"These are two people that have been separated for a very long time. They've lived whole other existences and they have to find themselves again, let alone each other," Gimple teased. "It's hopefully going to be mind-blowing."
"We see this incredible power couple, but we also see that Red Machete Rick," Gimple said, referring to Rick brutally butchering the Terminus cannibals in Season 5 of The Walking Dead. On Michonne, Gimple added we see the same katana-wielding warrior who "taught a thing or two" to the Governor (David Morrissey) back in Season 4.
"It kind of goes coast to coast that way," Gimple said, "between the intimate and the epic and the insane."
According to AMC, the series "presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead... And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they've ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?"
The Rick/Michonne spinoff is one of three new series coming in 2023 that continue the stories of characters from The Walking Dead, including Isle of the Dead, starring Lauren Cohan's Maggie and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, and the France-set spinoff focused on Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon.
The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes and Michonne series is set to premiere in 2023 on AMC+.