Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, and Danai Gurira as Michonne in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

(L to R) Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, and Danai Gurira as Michonne, and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

When Andrew Lincoln’s ‘The Walking Dead’ character Rick Grimes was spirited away by mysterious forces in a helicopter early in Season 9 of the show, fans were left wondering when he might show up again.

And then Michonne, played by Dania Gurira, departed the following season on a quest to find the man she loves.

We had been told around that time that their story might continue in TV movies (partly to work around Lincoln’s schedule).

Now, though, both actors made a surprise appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con Hall H panel for the show to announce that their characters will in fact return in a new series.

Lincoln and Gurira, who have been actively involved in conceiving the creative and the continuation of their characters’ story, will be executive producers, while Scott M. Gimple, Chief Content Officer of ‘Walking Dead’ Universe, is acting as showrunner.

“What a great surprise for the fans at this final Comic-Con for the series that launched this universe and made television history, says Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We couldn’t be more excited for a truly epic series finale later this year and to see Andy and Danai return in a new series they helped create, one of three new series coming in 2023 that continue the stories of so many iconic and fan-favorite TWD characters.”

Danai Gurira as Michonne, and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

(L t R) Danai Gurira as Michonne, and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

“Rick and Michonne are two of my favorite people and Danai and Andy are two of my favorite people,” Gimple says. “Working with all of them continues to be a dream come true. The three of us, along with a terrific team of ‘TWD’ all stars and incredible new voices, are crafting an insane love epic worth the long, long wait.”

“This has been the most extraordinary journey playing Rick Grimes for the best part of a decade. The friendships I’ve made along the way are deep and lasting, so it’s fitting that I finally get to complete the story with Danai and Scott and the rest of the ‘TWD’ family, Lincoln enthuses. “I’m so excited to be returning to the screen as Rick, reuniting with Danai as Michonne, and bringing the fans an epic love story to add to the ‘Walking Dead’ Universe.”

Gurira adds: “Michonne and this ‘TWD’ family has meant so much to me, and to continue the journey of these beloved characters, alongside Scott and Andy, both creatively and in front of the camera, and bringing ‘Walking Dead’ fans something truly special is just glorious. I can’t wait to pick up the katana again.”

Here’s the official synopsis: “This series presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance by an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead... And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive – or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?”

While the main ‘Walking Dead’ show wraps up this year, there are a variety of spin-offs in the works, including those featuring fan-favorite Daryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and anthology ‘Tales of the Walking Dead’, which starts on August 14th.

This new Rick/Michonne series, which has yet to announce its title, will launch next year with six episodes.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'