SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sundays What Comes After episode of The Walking Dead.
Rick Grimes is gone but not gone. The lead character for nine seasons of The Walking Dead made it through his final episode alive barely after blowing up a bridge full of zombies to protect his friends and family, and then being found by Jadis/Anne, who saved him by getting her former-foe-turned-friend on that mysterious helicopter taking him to God knows where.
And Ricks story is not over. EW can report that Andrew Lincoln will be back in the role for a series of Walking Dead movies for AMC. We spoke to Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple to get all the scoop. When and where will these movies happen? How many are planned? Are there other non-Rick movies in the works? What happens to Jadis now? We asked Gimple who also reveals when the original Rick exit was supposed to take place all that and more.
Seeing as how Gimple also co-wrote Lincolns final episode with Matthew Negrete, we also got some behind-the-scenes scoop on those big return scenes by Jon Bernthal, Sonequa Martin-Green, and the late Scott Wilson. Read through both pages for all the intel, and make sure to also check out our chat with Andrew Lincoln, where the star explains how and when the plan came together for the films, and our interview showrunner Angela Kang, who talks all about the scene from Andrew Lincolns finale you didnt see.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you start mapping out the creative vision for when and how we were going to say goodbye to Rick Grimes on this show. How long a process has this been and how did it come together?SCOTT M. GIMPLE: Years and years ago, Andy and I had some talks that were hardly formal or binding or anything, but just about how were very lucky to have such an amazing audience, and it going on and on and on. And so in the back of my head, I started mapping some things out, and they became more real in story even before Andys ultimate decision, but I already started putting things in the story and started developing a story that either would feature Andy, which I thought it would, or possibly could be something else inside that garden of forking paths.
But as we got closer and closer, those things that I put into the story looked like they were going to come to fruition, and last year things got really real, and I started talking with everybody a little more clearly, especially [new showrunner Angela Kang]. When I was moving her up into the showrunning position, there was a whole briefing of all the stuff we had to handle, and all the stuff that Id stitched in the story to get there.
I remember Andy telling me that at one point he was thinking, Okay, Im going to go out in season 8, and then he said, Well, lets wait until season 9. Im not sure how far you were at that point. Did you get to a point, if he had left earlier, what that goodbye wouldve looked like? Was that going to be in the middle of the All Out War arc?Oh, yeah. There was an absolute plan, and I knew which episode it was, and had a very good idea, as did the writers at that point. But on this show, its a constant exercise in that sort of choose your own adventure storytelling, of knowing the directions youre going to go in, and listing them all. And thats always worked very well in as much as even back before I was showrunning, having a few different directions, because invariably youll go back to those other directions you didnt use and potentially apply them to another story. And its also that remixing of Robert Kirkmans stuff. He gives you the opportunity to reorder some of the comic story, which I think has worked well.
So how was it originally going to happen?Oh, no! Im not going to say that! I never share that. Its like a sacred sort of alternate reality, the Earth Two thats in our heads. To tell you the truth, theres aspects of it that we might mine in other ways.
Ugh. Fine. Can you at least tell me when it would have happened?I can say nothing was every formal, obviously, but in some ways, in a very, very nascent way it was looking like episode 14 last year.
Before we get into the plan with the movies, I want to ask you about Ricks goodbye episode because you co-wrote it with Matthew Negrete and you have these three returning characters. Obviously Shane, Hershel, and Sasha come back, and I was really curious about what that was like for you and Matt writing that. Did you have to write parts of this episode around whos schedules lined up that you could get to come back? How did that whole process work in of writing around the story once you saw who you could get?There were some schedules and such that precluded one of the actors that we were looking at, and we had written to them, and so there was some rewriting and there was a new scene done, which actually was wonderful. But there was a little bit of shuffling. I will say whats funny is the person that we didnt think we were going to get, just because of schedule stuff, was John [Bernthal]. But again, you go with the possibilities youre looking at. You go forward with them with all your heart, and then if it doesnt work out, you apply that same sort of passion in another direction. It really worked out wonderfully, and were so lucky that it worked out the way it did.
So why another time jump? Why here? Why now?I dont know, thats fascinating. For fans of the comic, the end of episode 905, theyre like, Oh, this is The New Beginning, meaning the storyline in the comic. I mean, we see Magna, and Yumiko, and their group, and that was the beginning of The New Beginning storyline in the comics.
The last time jump was a jump, but it wasnt a huge amount of time. This jump is that quantum leap forward from the comic, and its a whole new world. It was important to, especially after All Out War, get some distance from that story, and be in a whole new reality for Rick and the group. But that was an incredibly dramatic overture to The New Beginning that we saw in the comic, which is one of the terrific arcs of the comic. And it was so surprising, and so intense, and so new. I loved that. I was so thrilled that Angela, Matt, and the writers came upon that for 905 to see Ricks legacy, and even Carls legacy in action in that episode. I think it was unexpected. When it was pitched to me, I was like, Holy crap. That is it. That is so definitely it. It got me excited.(Interview continues on next page.)
AMCs zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.
Go here to read the rest:
The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln to return for Rick Grimes …
- The Walking Dead | ScreenRant - January 13th, 2019
- The Whisperers Are Watching In This New 'The Walking Dead ... - January 12th, 2019
- The Walking Dead's Alpha and Beta Are Revealed in New Teaser ... - January 11th, 2019
- The Walking Dead season 9 spoilers: Star teases MAJOR ... - January 7th, 2019
- 'The Walking Dead' Is Getting Another 'Fear The Walking ... - January 5th, 2019
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Events Changing The Tone - January 2nd, 2019
- This Former 'The Walking Dead' Star Has Some Harsh Words For ... - December 23rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season Will Return In January ... - December 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 8 Recap: Jesus Dies as ... - November 28th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 9, Episode 7 Review: 'Stradivarius' - November 25th, 2018
- Maggie's Exit From 'The Walking Dead' Is Weird, Much ... - November 21st, 2018
- The Walking Dead (Video Game) - November 20th, 2018
- The Walking Dead - Wrath: Season 8, Episode 16 - AMC - November 16th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 9, Episode 6 Review: A Brave New Show - November 15th, 2018
- Daryl Now Has A Dog On 'The Walking Dead' So ... - forbes.com - November 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Recap Season 9 Episode 5: Does Rick Die? - November 10th, 2018
- 'Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln ('Rick Grimes') Fate ... - November 10th, 2018
- Walking Dead Trailer for Next Episodes Teases Whisperers ... - November 10th, 2018
- Walking Dead Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - November 10th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Bids Farewell to Lauren Cohans Maggie ... - November 8th, 2018
- Body Bag, Walker Or Helicopter: How Will Rick Grimes Leave ... - November 8th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Says Goodbye to Andrew Lincoln. Sort Of ... - November 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Shocker: Future of Franchise Revealed ... - November 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead spoilers: Rick Grimes' final episode, death ... - November 3rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 4, Recap: Negan and ... - November 2nd, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead': Producers, start figuring out how to ... - November 2nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 4 "The Obliged" Recap ... - November 1st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Made Another Bizarre Mistake After Last ... - October 31st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Might've Spoiled A Twist About Rick ... - October 29th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead': Will Rick and Michonne Have a Child ... - October 26th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 3 Recap: [Spoiler ... - October 23rd, 2018
- Scott Wilson of The Walking Dead Remembered at Memorial - October 23rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season on Steam - October 23rd, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9: Andrew Lincoln exit in episode 6 ... - October 20th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Takes A Killer Hit As Ratings Fall To ... - October 20th, 2018
- This Was The Most Shocking Thing About 'The Walking Dead ... - October 17th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Falling Ratings Are About To Get A Whole ... - October 15th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Recap: Season 9 Premiere [Spoiler ... - October 11th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Premiere Addresses One Of Its ... - October 9th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Premiere's Big Death Is Finally The Right ... - October 9th, 2018
- "The Walking Dead" actor Scott Wilson dies at 76 - CBS News - October 8th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Actor Scott Wilson Dies at 76 | TMZ.com - October 7th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus says big deaths are coming ... - October 5th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Spoilers: Rick and Maggie Exit ... - October 2nd, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Confirms Maggie Will Leave, But Not Die ... - October 2nd, 2018
- Andrew Lincoln could be returning to The Walking Dead to ... - September 29th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Spoilers: Scott Gimple Talks ... - September 29th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Our World - September 27th, 2018
- The Walking Dead - Cast - AMC - September 25th, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead - Wikipedia - September 23rd, 2018
- A New The Walking Dead Trailer Teases The Resurrection ... - September 17th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Teaser Promises New Beginnings - September 16th, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9 spoilers: Rick Grimes exit to begin ... - September 12th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Is Getting Extended | TV Guide - September 8th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Is Adding a New Pet | TV Guide - September 6th, 2018
- [PHOTOS] The Walking Dead: No Negan in Season 9 ... - September 6th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Boss Talks Maggie As a Working Mother - September 1st, 2018
- The Walking Dead Season 9 Teaser: There's Dissension in Rick ... - August 30th, 2018
- The Walking Dead Casts Sons of Anarchy's Ryan Hurst as the ... - August 30th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Casts 'Remember the Titans' Star Ryan ... - August 28th, 2018
- The Walking Dead (season 8) - Wikipedia - August 26th, 2018
- Check Out These New Photos From 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 - August 24th, 2018
- 'Fear The Walking Dead' Season 4, Episode 9 Review: Flying ... - August 18th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan Talks Leaving Maggie Behind ... - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead's Negan Joining Tekken 7 as Playable ... - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: 10 big spoilers for season 9 - August 11th, 2018
- The Walking Dead season 9: Rick Grimes exit will be ... - August 4th, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Andrew Lincoln reveals why he is leaving ... - August 1st, 2018
- Fear the Walking Dead Season, Episode and Cast Information ... - August 1st, 2018
- Comic-Con 2018: The Walking Dead Season 9 -- Andrew Lincoln ... - July 25th, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Casts Nadia Hilker as Magna for Season 9 ... - July 25th, 2018
- Walking Dead Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series ... - July 22nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Are Carol and Ezekiel About to Romance ... - July 22nd, 2018
- New Walking Dead season 9 trailer, release date drop at ... - July 22nd, 2018
- The Walking Dead: Will Rick and Maggie Fight in Season 9 ... - July 21st, 2018
- Comic-Con 2018: The Walking Dead Season 9 -- What We Know ... - July 21st, 2018
- 'The Walking Dead' Unveils Season 9 Trailer, Premiere Date ... - July 21st, 2018
- Andrew Lincoln opens up about leaving "The Walking Dead ... - July 21st, 2018
- 7 Lingering The Walking Dead Mysteries We Need Solved ... - July 21st, 2018
- The Walking Dead: See Norman Reedus in season 9 first look ... - July 15th, 2018
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero