The Walking Dead: World Beyond Star Apologizes for Sparking Rumors of Rick Grimes Return in Season Finale

The Walking Dead: World Beyond star Nico Tortorella accepts blame and apologizes for sparking rumors that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) appears in the first season of the Walking Dead spinoff, which airs its two-hour season finale tonight on AMC. Rick went missing from The Walking Dead when the Civic Republic Military flew him away aboard one of their many helicopters that reappear in World Beyond, where the CRM is under the command of shadowy Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond). Weeks after Tortorella made a teasing comment about sharing scenes with Lincoln, and the Rick Grimes actor appeared on a falsified listing on IMDb, a spokesperson for AMC denied rumors that Rick returns in World Beyond.

"I may be the one to blame for people theorizing that Andrew Lincoln was going to be part of the finale of this (laughs). So I apologize," Tortorella, who uses they/them pronouns, told kinowetter ahead of Sunday's season finale. "If anyone thought that, that is my fault."

Tortorella is referring to a comment published on Instagram during the series premiere of World Beyond on October 4, where they responded to a fan asking, "Who is your favorite person to have scenes with?" Tortorella answered it was "Andrew Lincoln" with a wink emoji, leading some viewers to theorize Rick would reappear during the 10-episode first season of the spinoff.

When the fake credit on IMDb began circulating the Internet, an AMC spokesperson confirmed with Insider that the since-removed listing was "not accurate." 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."

Asked by kinowetter if they would like to see Rick or other TWD Universe characters crossover into World Beyond, Tortorella said, "Yes, of course, I would like to see characters from World Beyond continue to live in the greater universe of The Walking Dead."

"I think The Walking Dead, in general, is in a transition right now with the original show ending after 10 years. And [with] the new spinoff [the untitled Daryl & Carol spinoff], and the anthology series, you have World Beyond, there's kind of this new resurgence," Tortorella said. "I love Felix, and I love this job, and I would love to stay part of this [franchise]. And there's the movies. I would love to stay a part of this universe for as long as I could. And yeah, duh, to work with Andrew Lincoln, that's a given."

Tortorella previously claimed to know "exactly where [Rick] is" during a press visit to World Beyond's set in Virginia but added they're "not allowed to answer that question."

"Yeah, I do. I'm not f—ing with you," Tortorella said. "I absolutely do."

That well-kept secret is the realm of World Beyond co-creator Scott Gimple, the chief content officer of the Walking Dead franchise and the co-writer of the coming feature film trilogy that follows Rick after his disappearance aboard a CRM helicopter. An early teaser trailer for the untitled Walking Dead film hinted Rick was relocated to Philadelphia, where he's joined by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), formerly Jadis of the Scavengers.

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Tortorella's World Beyond co-star Annet Mahendru, who plays CRM spy Huck, recently told ComicBook.com that the two-season limited event series is "the lead-up to the movies."

The Walking Dead: World Beyond will begin filming its 10-episode second season in early 2021. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.