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Scott Gimple sheds light on the Rick Grimes-centric Walking Dead movies

SPOILERS for the last episode of The Walking Dead. Having announced that he would be leaving the series earlier this year, we all knew that Andrew Lincoln's days on The Walking Dead were numbered, and Sunday's episode served as Rick Grimes' exit from the long-running series. However, it turned out that Grimes' exit was setting up something much bigger.

After seemingly sacrificing himself by blowing up a bridge full of zombies in order to protect his friends, Rick Grimes was saved by Jadis/Anne and put on a mysterious helicopter which was headed to an unknown location. This wasn't exactly the ending which we had imagined, but it made sense when it was later revealed that Rick Grimes would be returning for a trilogy of Walking Dead movies. Chief content officer of The Walking Dead franchise Scott M. Gimple spoke with Entertainment Weekly and revealed a little more about the upcoming films.

It is really important for the audience to know that we are going to be continuing to tell the story of Rick Grimes in these AMC Studios original films. We don’t want this thing to be like, “Oh, well, he’ll be back on the show any moment now.” We are telling Rick’s story in another medium, and it’s going to be these AMC Studios original films. They’re going to be on AMC, most probably. They’re centered around Rick Grimes. We’re going to tell the story of what happens after that helicopter flight, and these are going to be big, epic entertainments. Each are quality films. That’s what’s been happening in the industry. We’ve seen Netflix make these, basically, studio films for people to watch in their homes, and we’re going to be doing the same sort of thing here.

Scott M. Gimple is working hard on the first of these movies right now, which will most likely start filming sometime next year. Although he's "freaking out" about deadlines, Gimple made sure to note that these will be made on feature schedules rather than television schedules. Unfortunatly that means that the same crew which has given us The Walking Dead for all these years won't be involved in the movies, but Gimple says that's "only because we need everybody making The Walking Dead. Walking Dead has a lot of big stuff going on, and we’re going to be continuing to make that show. Also, he’s flying off in a helicopter, away from Virginia, and it’s going to be a new world — aa very new situation with its own history, and very, very different from what we’ve seen before."

We knew that AMC had big plans for The Walking Dead franchise, and these movies are clearly a big step in a new direction. In addition to films, there's also a plan for new TV shows, mini-series, and specials, which will allow them to tell stories in different ways as well as explore the past and future of the franchise.

We’re going to see all sorts of different Walking Dead projects in all sorts of ways with old standbys, with new voices, which is really important to me. And they’re all going to be very different and distinct from the shows. We have this one show amazing show that is showing the beginning of its civilization, and we have this other show with these folks who are trying to make up for the things that they did. We’re going to be having different entertainments, different narratives within The Walking Dead. Different tone, different characters. We’re also going to see old characters — review some content with old favorites. We get to revisit them and see stories of their past that we might not have shared before.

The Walking Dead is currently airing on Sundays on AMC.

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