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We Finally Know What's Taking The Walking Dead Movie So Long

Fans of "The Walking Dead" franchise are well aware that there's a new theatrical movie in the cards for the show's former central character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). The character parted company from the main cast of characters in Season 9's "What Comes After," after an incident with an exploding bridge left most of his ragtag team of survivors believing him dead. However, the episode shows that he is still alive, after being rescued via helicopter alongside the mysterious Jadis aka Anne, and being airlifted to an unknown (and likely quite dangerous) destination. Thus, viewers have assumed that the main thrust of the film will apparently cover what happens to Rick. Will he be fighting his way back to his daughter? Or dealing with problems far more fearsome in a new and dangerous land?

Later episodes of "The Walking Dead" have also planted hints as to where he might be, with Season 10 showing his partner Danai Gurira embarking on a quest to find him. However, it's now been years since Lincoln departed the show, and the promise of the film has dangled before fans like a carrot before a hungry donkey. 

There have been no updates for a long time: while it's been confirmed that the Rick Grimes film will not be a TV movie but a full-on big screen endeavor for the franchise, and it's a definite yes that Lincoln will be portraying Grimes again, little else is known, from the plot to the release date. 

However, we just had an update from some folks attached to "The Walking Dead" franchise. Here's what they had to say.

Looks like what we have here is a case of... perfectionism

According to Greg Nicotero, the primary makeup maven and co-producer of "The Walking Dead," everybody involved is taking their time with the film, trying to make sure that it's just right. Apparently it's still in the scripting stages, with no solid date in sight for production to begin. In an interview with ComicBook.com,  Nicotero stated that, "I wish I knew, and I wish I could say [when fans will see a finished film]. I've read a variety of drafts of the scripts over the last few months. They're really making sure that they get it right."

"I would always say 'The Walking Dead' makes hour-long movies every week. I don't want to get comfortable and say, 'Oh yeah, you make a movie, you got more money.' Because they're going to expect more because they have more money. I've been on a lot of movies, and the pace is certainly different in terms of television, because of the fact that on television now we have 10 days to do an episode, or nine days to do an episode. Because of COVID ... we only shoot 10-hour days. With a movie, you get to go home. So you don't get fatigued as much, because you know that you have 24 episodes," he continued. 

What if everything goes right, though? Star Andrew Lincoln told SFX Magazine back in April that a spring 2022 start date for shooting may be in the cards. "We're very excited about how, at the first available opportunity, we're going to go into production -– there's talk of it being spring. I can't wait to get those cowboy boots," he said.

Looks like it's time for "Walking Dead" fans to saddle up ... when the time is right.