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The Walking Dead movies: Everything we know about Rick Grimes' return so far

The Walking Dead movies logo
(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead movies may seem like the last thing on anyone's mind right now, especially at AMC. Heck, The Walking Dead season 10 hasn't even been able to wrap up its story after COVID-19 disrupted the programme's scheduling plans, with its finale still due to air sometime this Summer, global events withstanding. But, believe it or not, The Walking Dead movies are very much still a thing, even if we've heard very little about them since being first announced. 

Just recently, in fact, The Walking Dead movies producer (and creator of the franchise itself) Robert Kirkman offered an update on where AMC is at with the trilogy, which plans to chronicle the return of Rick Grimes following his "cop out" of The Walking Dead TV show in 2018. "There's tons of stuff going on behind the scenes," said Kirkman, "I don't want anyone to think that we're just kind of waiting around for this pandemic to end."

Below, you'll find all you need to know about The Walking Dead movies in anticipation of their release, including news on their story, launch plans, and more. Who knows, perhaps we'll hear more at Comic-Con @ Home...

The Walking Dead movies release dates are a long way off

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(Image credit: AMC)

While AMC hasn't provided any indication of when it plans to release The Walking Dead movies, franchise chief content officer Scott M. Gimple told Entertainment Weekly in January 2020 that the production company had yet to find a director, finalise the scripts, or even land on a concrete time frame for shooting. 

"We have a couple of different plans that we’re going with depending on a couple of different factors we have to deal with on everything from story to product aspects." explained Gimple. "There have been a lot of different aspects to it in terms of timing that are pretty much coming into rapid focus right now. I would say the past year in a lot of ways has been R&D on a lot of aspects of it."

This, on top of all the coronavirus related TV show and movie delays that have already thrown Hollywood's timeline out of whack, means we'll be waiting at least a few years before the first of the three Walking Dead movies makes its way into theatres. Hopefully, AMC is still able to make sure its various story threads running between each TV show can still link into Rick Grimes' own return in a logical and seamless manner. 

The Walking Dead movies trailer suggests we're heading to Philadelphia 

Released at last year's San Diego Comic-Con 2019 convention, The Walking Dead movies teaser trailer is very much an exercise in understatement, offering nothing more than a title card, preliminary art work, and the promise that Rick Grimes will be returning. However, that skyline seen in the background shouldn't be passed off as a mere stock photo, but potentially provides a glimpse into the location of Rick's whereabouts, and the main backdrop for the movies themselves. 

Compared side by side, it's clear that this is the skyline of Philadelphia, the largest city in the US state of Pennsylvania, just north of The Walking Dead season 10's setting of Virginia. If that's the case, then perhaps Rick Grimes isn't as far away from his family as we first thought, meaning there's every chance he could one day return to be reunited with Daryl, Judith, and the rest... provided he makes it out of these movies in one piece. 

The Walking Dead movies will finally reveal more about the mystery of Rick Grimes (and that damn helicopter)

(Image credit: AMC)

AMC confirmed back in 2018 that The Walking Dead movies will pick up the story of Rick Grimes where season 9 left it, after the character was picked up half dead by the helicopter that has been appearing on and off throughout the show for the last decade. Alongside him is Pollyanna McIntosh' Jadis, who appears to be on relatively friendly terms with the mysterious community, but that's all we know about them for now. 

An AMC blog announcing the news confirmed that "the first film [in the trilogy of Walking Dead movies] will explore the story of where Rick is taken and what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse", with Scott Gimple calling them big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features." What can be bigger than thousands of zombies on screen at once? Guess we'll have to wait and see. 

The Walking Dead movies are already being set up in The Walking Dead season 10

(Image credit: AMC)
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(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead Japanese phone mystery: Here's what it means, and how it connects to AMC's wider universe

Before we get into this, consider this your spoiler warning as we discuss key story beats that have taken place in The Walking Dead season 10 so far. Happy to get into it? Okay, good. In The Walking Dead season 10 episode 13, Danai Gurira bows out of the show for good, after her character Michonne discovers Rick's boots (and a sketch of herself and Judith on a mobile phone) in a boat washed ashore on Virgil's island. 

Naturally, this sends her on the hunt to find her long lost lover, several years after the events of his assumed demise in season 9, suggesting that the katana wielding queen of Alexandria could also be making an appearance in The Walking Dead movies herself. 

What's more, The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang confirmed to Insider that the Japanese message seen next to the picture translates to "believe a little longer", teasing it as "a hint at some larger story that took place." Scott Gimple also told Talking Dead (via ComicBook.com) that "both Rick Grimes and Andrew Lincoln would not give up those boots very easily", suggesting that the sheriff is potentially captured against his will. 

That would at least explain why Rick still hasn't returned to Alexandria, but we're gonna need more to go on than that. Hopefully the show will continue to shed new light onto the whereabouts and status of this cowboy killer as it goes on but, for now, the mystery of the missing Rick remains shrouded by several unanswered questions...

For more, check out all the new TV shows hitting your small screen in 2020 and beyond. 

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!