There was a lot of news that came out of The Walking Dead‘s Comic-Con panel. There was new casting. There was the announcement of a big exit. And there was a kick-ass action-packed trailer. But the biggest surprise was saved for the very end when panel host Chris Hardwick cued a special surprise for the audience. And you can watch it for yourself below.
Yes, it appears the Rick Grimes spin-off Walking Dead movie will not be premiering on AMC, as originally planned. With the message in the video reading “Rick Grimes returns. Only in theaters,” it appears Andrew Lincoln’s character will be hitting the silver screen instead of the small one. “The Walking Dead movie is official,” announced Hardwick after the clip played. “It will be in theaters, brought to you by Universal, AMC, and Skybound. More information to come.”
Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple spoke with EW last fall about the planned Rick Grimes trilogy of films, saying then that, “It is really important for the audience to know that we are going to be continuing to tell the story of Rick Grimes in these AMC Studios original films. We don’t want this thing to be like, ‘Oh, well, he’ll be back on the show any moment now.’ We are telling Rick’s story in another medium, and it’s going to be these AMC Studios original films. They’re going to be on AMC, most probably.”
While that has certainly changed, the content of the story most likely has not. “They’re centered around Rick Grimes,” said Gimple of the films. “We’re going to tell the story of what happens after that helicopter flight, and these are going to be big, epic entertainments. Each are quality films. That’s what’s been happening in the industry. We’ve seen Netflix make these, basically, studio films for people to watch in their homes, and we’re going to be doing the same sort of thing here.”
When asked about a time frame last fall, Gimple responded: “I am extremely hard at work on the first one right now, and most likely filming next year, though I’m freaking out about deadlines right now, so I’m not going to tell you exactly when because it will only make me pass out. But it really is going to be sooner than later. On the flip side, these are not going to be made on television schedules. This is going to be on feature schedules, and they’re going to be big, so they’re going to take a minute to make.”