Rick Grimes will live to see another day.
After nine seasons fighting off walkers on AMC’s Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln announced that he would be exiting the show following tonight’s season finale. Spoiler: Somewhat surprisingly, Grimes’ character was not killed off, but rather rescued by a mysterious helicopter. Though seriously injured, Grimes is alive as the helicopter flies off into the distance.
And now we know why.
Lincoln is still very much involved in AMC’s future plans for Walking Dead. As announced immediately after tonight’s finale, Lincoln has signed on to reprise Grimes in multiple feature-length films, the first of which will go into production in early 2019. AMC stresses that while Grimes will not return to the television series, his story will continue to be told in the movies. Presumambly, we’ll find out what happens to Grimes once the helicopter lands. (Some fans speculate Grimes will end up in The Commonwealth, a city of 50,000 people living in generally good conditions.)
“We have a lot on the horizon – starting with a new epic featuring one of the greatest leading actors in television history and one of the best people I’ve ever met,” said Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple in a statement. “These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features. We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices. We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead.”