Watch The Walking Dead Cast's Farewell Messages to Andrew Lincoln

Watch The Walking Dead Cast's Farewell Messages to Andrew Lincoln

In Lincoln's final appearance on the hit series The Walking Dead, the character of Rick Grimes is mortally wounded and last seen being flown away by helicopter to an unknown destination. Gimple is now writing the first of the three untitled movies, with production set to begin in 2019.

This Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead bid goodbye to its grizzled lead of nine seasons - or did it?

Instead, he was picked up by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) in the helicopter that was first introduced on the show about a year ago. "We appreciate [Andy's] leadership", he says through a mustache that has to be seen to be believed, "but... he's a really bad actor". 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 centered around Rick Grimes.

However, Walking Dead fans will have to wait for the upcoming TV movies to find out the fate of Rick.

A new corner of the zombie apocalypse for Rick? According to Gimple, some of the future films will "relate to The Walking Dead as fans know it while others will be standalone stories that break into new creative territory".

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Gimple called these "AMC original films" though did not announce how long they would be and when they will air. "There were story ideas brewing that, as the years went on, seemed very compatible with continuing to tell the Rick story in another format that would allow him time with his family", explained Gimple. "But I hope we'll know more in the next couple of weeks".

In an interview with The New York Times published online after the episode aired, Lincoln insisted he was "categorically" not returning to the television series. "There's a lot of people that are still there, who were there on the first day, and that's an immensely moving testament to the show, really".

Echoing Serratos' tombstone sentiment, Tom Payne (Paul "Jesus" Rovia) also highlighted Rick's hardened personality with his tombstone message, "you didn't know who you were f-ing with", while Callan McAuliffe (Alden) suggested "legend" - not only for Lincoln's character but for the actor himself, he added.

"For me to want to do a limited number of episodes [of The Walking Dead] a year wouldn't feel like I was doing my job properly because playing this part has been so all-encompassing".

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