The Walking Dead Teases New Setting for Rick/Michonne Series

Where in the world are Rick and Michonne? In The Walking Dead Universe, it's been more than six years since Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) vanished in Virginia, disappearing aboard a CRM helicopter that transported him to the Civic Republic: a "hidden city" located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After setting sail on a trip to Maryland's Bloodsworth Island, we last saw Michonne (Danai Gurira) headed north in search of Rick, following a lead on the man we know Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) traded to the Civic Republic Military. In 2023, Rick and Michonne meet again in the untitled spinoff series created by showrunner Scott M. Gimple.

During the AMC Networks Summit in New York, Gimple teased that this "epic love story" reuniting Rick and Michonne takes place in a location never before seen in The Walking Dead Universe. "The discovery of individual new worlds is critical," Gimple said, adding that Rick "discovered a new world" when he woke up from a coma in the pilot episode of The Walking Dead. ("There will be no comas," Gimple joked of the Rick/Michonne series.)

That could rule out the series taking place in post-apocalyptic Philadelphia, as The Walking Dead: World Beyond featured scenes set within the secret society of the Civic Republic. Also co-created by Gimple, that spinoff series revealed a network of civilizations comprising the Alliance of the Three: Philadelphia, Portland, and Omaha (since destroyed by the CRM's chemical weapon.)

When Michonne set off in search of Rick, it was after she found a ship's log book documenting various locations: Tampa Bay, Florida; Hopewell, Virginia; and Bridgers Shipyard in New Jersey — not far from The Walking Dead: Dead City, which will send Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) into walker-overrun Manhattan. 

The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang noted we last saw Michonne "somewhere in between" Virginia and New Jersey, headed north and trailing a large migrant caravan journeying in that same direction. They may have been the displaced survivors of Portland, Oregon, a community of 87,000 survivors targeted by Jadis and the CRM's second chemical strike on World Beyond. (That series ended with the people of The Perimeter — a smaller colony of survivors in Ithaca, New York — traveling cross-country on a mission to warn Portland.)

"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 said on The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special. "It's hopefully going to be mind-blowing."

AMC describes the Rick/Michonne spinoff: "This 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 first season of the series, which begins with six episodes, is slated to premiere in 2023 on AMC and AMC+.

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