The Walking Dead movies have been years in the making but, since its initial announcement, we've heard precious little about the trilogy starring Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes.
We've kept our ears close to the ground recently, however, and have uncovered some of the latest updates surrounding The Walking Dead movies, including words from Lincoln himself. In our guide, we've also got the first teaser trailer, plus how the main show has potentially set up the movies.
The Walking Dead movies still don't have a release date
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 Collider in October 2020 that pre-production on the trilogy was still ongoing and that COVID was affecting production.
"We're following the same general plan but movies take a little longer and we're playing with it in all sorts of directions," said Gimple. "And then, the pandemic happened, which gave us the opportunity or the necessity to do that We're still doing that. Andrew [Lincoln] is super involved. [Robert Kirkman] is super involved. It really is proceeding. It's just that current circumstances have given us a little extra time that we seem to need anyways. We really want to do it right."
Later, Andrew Lincoln told sister publication SFX magazine in 2021 that he's "not filming at the moment." The most recent major update we've had involves Walking Dead veteran and special effects wizard Greg Nicotero revealing in an interview with ComicBook.com that things are still "alive" and moving.
"I wish I knew, and I wish I could say [when it's happening]. I've read a variety of drafts of the scripts over the last few months. They're really making sure that they get it right," Nicotero said.
So, no, filming on the movies hasn't even started, but given how well equipped AMC is for tight turnarounds on The Walking Dead anyways, there's every chance it could hit a 2023 release date.
The Walking Dead movie teaser trailer
Released at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, 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
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 have already being set up in main series and its spin-offs
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 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.
Spin-off World Beyond shed more potential light on Rick's status. Jadis reveals she handed Rick over to the Civic Republic Military as a "B", not an "A". That means he's definitely still alive, though in the shadowy clutches of the CRM.
Hopefully the mainline show will continue to reveal more on 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...