The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes movie owes a great debt to Walking Dead: World Beyond. When Andrew Lincoln made his final (for now) The Walking Dead appearance in 2018, the door was left wide open for future misadventures. Sure enough, AMC quickly announced Lincoln’s grizzled protagonist would return in a Walking Dead movie, revealing what happened following Rick Grimes’ mysterious helicopter disappearance.
Even among The Walking Dead’s most faithful zombie-heads, excitement surrounding AMC’s Rick Grimes movie is muted – and that’s largely due to a distinct lack of movement since Rick’s cinematic comeback was announced. As 2022 kicks off, precious little about The Walking Dead’s film debut is known, with visible signs of progress negligible even before COVID reared its head. Aside from a brief teaser, a few in-show reminders, and constant interview assurances that Rick’s movie is still happening, The Walking Dead’s big screen project is suspiciously light on news, announcements, or hype. Combined with dropping TV figures as the main show comes to an end, any excitement The Walking Dead’s Rick movie might’ve built in 2018 has slumped harder than a zombie hit by a Daryl Dixon crossbow bolt.
Andrew Lincoln’s zombie apocalypse continuation has now received a much-needed jolt of energy thanks to Walking Dead spinoff series, Walking Dead: World Beyond. The group who rescued/kidnapped a dying Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead season 9 has been identified as the CRM (Civic Republic Military), and it’s safe to assume they’ll play a major role in Lincoln’s movie return. These villains remain wholly enigmatic in the main show (and Fear The Walking Dead, to a lesser extent), but World Beyond successfully establishes the CRM as the biggest threat AMC’s live-action Walking Dead universe has ever seen. Gas weapons, mass murders, scary-loyal soldiers that make the Commonwealth’s guard look like amateurs… World Beyond gives a foreboding glimpse of Rick’s potential enemy in The Walking Dead‘s movie, and promises what could be the franchise’s best villain yet – the elusive Major General Beale.
Walking Dead: World Beyond‘s finale post-credits does even more to conjure enthusiasm for Rick’s movie. The closing scene reveals how the zombie virus originated in France, and was a man-made contagion released during some kind of incident. Those responsible tried to fix their mess, but only succeeded in creating a “variant” zombie that’s faster (and seemingly smarter too) than the typical brand you find on American soil. World Beyond‘s post-credits also suggests a group of these guilty-looking scientists were in the U.S. when the world fell to ruin. There’s no guarantee these teases will be picked up by The Walking Dead‘s movie, but that’s certainly the most likely option, given what we know of Rick’s fate, and the other projects AMC has in the pipeline.
There’s a long road ahead before The Walking Dead‘s Rick Grimes movie can claim to carry any kind of momentum or buzz. However, Walking Dead: World Beyond has at least tickled the taste buds of intrigue, first by revealing the group who captured Rick in Walking Dead season 9 are a deadly, amoral military force with a mysterious unseen leader, and then by opening up the franchise’s mythology to include shady science experiments, fast zombies, and hope for a cure. Without World Beyond‘s input, Rick Grimes’ The Walking Dead movie would barely register on most viewers’ radars. Tossing the CRM and fast zombies into the mix made the Walking Dead‘s fandom sit up and take notice – even those who passed on World Beyond. Now there’s at least some curiosity surrounding Rick Grimes’ cinematic return, and conversation over what gory delights The Walking Dead‘s movie may bring. Whether that piqued interest will sustain until the film finally premieres depends entirely on how long the wait lasts…