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For the past day, Rick Grimes has been trending on social media, and not just for the usual parade of tributes and fancams you see about the Walking Dead character. Rather, trying to figure out why he’s trending, you come across a bunch of people celebrating or questioning his return to Walking Dead, a series actor Andrew Lincoln left in 2018.
I follow the show pretty closely, and I hadn’t heard anything resembling an announcement like that, so I wanted to track down where this came from. From what I can tell, this all started with an Andrew Lincoln fan account that claims to have inside information about Lincoln’s filming schedule over the next year:
To be clear, I don’t know anything about this account other than it really, really likes Andrew Lincoln, and this supposed inside information is impossible to verify. And assuming that it is true, there’s nothing to say that one of the projects for 2022 being The Walking Dead is not just the already-announced Walking Dead movies featuring a captured Rick Grimes in Philadelphia going against the CRM.
But here are the facts on the ground:
The idea that Andrew Lincoln would star as rick in a series of movies was announced soon after his departure in 2018, where it was revealed he was not killed off of the show, but merely captured.
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Since then, we’ve had a global pandemic, delaying a whole lot of projects, including this one, but the last update we got about the Rick Grimes movies was in July 2021 from Robert Kirkman:
“All I will say, we don’t want a bad Rick Grimes movie, right? We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie and so everybody behind-the-scenes is making sure that when this comes out it is worth the wait, and it is actually the special character building Rick Grimes journey that everybody wants it to be. And so we’re not going to be rushing this thing out, and we’re going to make sure that it’s perfect.”
Before that, Andrew Lincoln himself said that he was hoping to film the movies in the spring. And here’s Greg Nicotero:
“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.”
So, all of this leads to the idea that if Andrew Lincoln is doing something Walking Dead related in 2022, it may be finally filming these movies that have been in the works for almost four years now. It does not mean that he’s returning to the show, as the main series will end in 2022, as the show is returning for a final string of episodes starting in February. I suppose we can’t rule out some sort of Rick Grimes tease at the end, or one final appearance, but I absolutely don’t think he will show up in the current, present timeline of TWD in these final episodes.