Rick Grimes is walking on, in three planned spinoff movies on AMC.
Sunday night's episode of "The Walking Dead" bid farewell to leading man Andrew Lincoln and his character, the former sheriff who led a group of human survivors from Atlanta to Alexandria.
But Rick's story isn't totally over yet. Lincoln will reprise his role in at least three big-budget, feature-length films that will air on AMC, the first of which will go into production next year.
Although Rick's life teetered precariously on the balance, due to a seemingly mortal wound, he actually survived. After blowing up the still-in-construction bridge (and seemingly dying in the explosion himself), Rick was found near death by Jadis/Anne — who decided to save him by taking him along with her on a mysterious helicopter. Where he's going and who is piloting the helicopter remain to be seen.
"The story of Rick will go on in films," said "The Walking Dead" chief content officer Scott M. Gimple in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"Right now, we're working on three but there's flexibility in that. … Over the next several years, we're going to be doing specials, new series are quite a possibility, high-quality digital content and then some content that defies description at the moment. We're going to dig into the past and see old characters. We're going to introduce new characters and new situations."
Lincoln departed the show to spend more time with his family, who are based in England. He had always planned to leave after Season 8, but when the opportunity to make the movies came up, it seemed to be the perfect outcome for the actor, the show, and the network.
"For me to want to do a limited number of episodes a year wouldn't feel like I was doing my job properly because playing this part has been so all-encompassing. I think I would get frustrated with that," Lincoln told THR.
"So the idea of being able to contain the story and still work just as hard and tell a different story in maybe a more expansive narrative way seemed very exciting to me."