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The Walking Dead Movie Trailer Teases Future For Rick Grimes

He may have gotten his start on television, but he's now making his way toward the big screen. 

That's right: Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, who was whisked away out of the world of The Walking Dead on a helicopter during the flagship AMC series, is alive and coming to a theater near you for the first of three Walking Dead movies — a tiny teaser for which AMC dropped at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

The announcement came at the very end of AMC's back-to-back Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead panels. There, the network displayed up on the big screen a 24-second clip entitled "Untitled The Walking Dead Movie Teaser," which shows the same chopper that carried a dying Rick off to an undisclosed location now flying over tall buildings. Then, the footage displays cryptic text promising the character's comeback: "Rick Grimes returns: Only in theaters."

Universal Pictures is distributing the Walking Dead movie, though neither that studio nor AMC has revealed additional information. A full cast has yet to be announced, as does a release date. 

What's interesting about this teaser, beyond the fact that it was a total jaw-dropper at this year's Comic-Con, is that it declares the theatrical run of the Walking Dead movie(s). The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is currently under a deal with Universal Pictures to create three films based on his property, which began as a comic book series, that would star Lincoln as his hard-pressed former cop character. In that regard, it's not shocking that AMC made an announcement about the first movie. What is surprising is that the film isn't arriving on television through AMC, which is what was originally believed to be the case. It's exciting that AMC has partnered with Universal for the flicks, as three theatrical releases in the books means a ton of cash for both companies and the potential to breathe even more life into the property. 

At the time news of the trio of Rick-centric Walking Dead movies went public, franchise CCO and former Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple promised that there would be "specials, new series[,] high-quality digital content and then some content that defies description at the moment" coming in the future. He also teased that the plan is for the films to get off the ground as soon as possible, so it seems now that a teaser has been released, production on this first Walking Dead movie might begin before the year is up. 

Gimple also detailed in a past interview with Entertainment Weekly, "It is really important for the audience to know that we are going to be continuing to tell the story of Rick Grimes in these AMC Studios original films ... They're centered around Rick Grimes. We're going to tell the story of what happens after that helicopter flight, and these are going to be big, epic entertainments. Each are quality films ... We are talking about a trilogy for this Rick Grimes story."

The movies were agreed upon by Lincoln and Gimple after the actor departed from the series to be closer to his family, who live in England. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lincoln will only need to spend two months in production on each Walking Dead movie — a total of six months when all is said and done — which is far less time than the nine months he dedicated every single year to filming new seasons of The Walking Dead in Atlanta, thousands of miles away from his loved ones. 

The wait for this first Walking Dead film presumably won't be too long, but even if it is, there are plenty of projects to keep Dead-heads satisfied in the meantime. There's the upcoming tenth season of the flagship series (the first trailer for which was also revealed at SDCC 2019), the forthcoming sixth season of the spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, and the third Walking Dead series that's underway with a full cast. Additionally, Gimple is expanding the Walking Dead franchise with even more content — so there will be no shortage of zombie-versus-human action in your future.