The Walking Dead fan-favorite iconic character Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, has already bid goodbye to the show. The show makers had teased Rick’s death before Lincoln’s final scenes played out on screen, leaving fans to speculate when exactly it would happen. AMC branded the first half of The Walking Dead season 9 as Rick Grimes’ final episodes way before the season’s October premiere.
Breaking a major spoiler beforehand seemed a bit unusual for a series which has previously shocked its fans with unexpected character exits.
During a recent interview with The New York Times, AMC President of Programming David Madden revealed the actual reason why the network heavily advertised Rick Grimes’s exit from the series beforehand.
“If you were a fan of the show we wanted you to know this was your opportunity to see, live, his departure from the series,” Madden told the New York Times. “We wanted to honor that moment, and then at the same time tell people what would come next.”
Lincoln first confirmed his exit in an emotional speech during a The Walking Dead panel at San Diego comic-con in July.
“The greatest regret I have is that people aren’t experiencing this fresh,” the Rick Grimes actor said at that time.
While fans will no longer see Rick in any more episodes of The Walking Dead, a trilogy of Rick-centric feature-length television movies have been confirmed to premiere on AMC, with the first expected to enter into production at the beginning of 2019.
According to The Walking Dead producer and AMC executive Scott Gimple, the upcoming films will not be direct adaptations from The Walking Dead comics. They will tell an original Rick Grimes story and have beefed-up production values.
The release dates for the three Rick Grimes-focused films are yet to be announced.
The Walking Dead will return on AMC with new episodes starting Sunday, February 10.
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