The Walking Dead movies featuring Andrew Lincoln's character Rick Grimes are taking a while because the producers want to get them right, according to comic creator Robert Kirkman. Even though a teaser trailer for the first movie based on The Walking Dead TV show was unveiled all the way back in July 2019, the films seemingly remain in pre-production two whole years later.
When pressed about the release date at his pre-recorded Comic Con at Home panel this past weekend (via GameSpot), Kirkman said "I can't tell you" about the release date. "I could throw out a funny date. I don't know. It's definitely going to be before 2032. I wish there were more updates."
It sounds like some progress is being made, though, with Kirkman teasing that there's some "exciting stuff happening behind-the-scenes", and that he's frustrated as fans are that they haven't said much about it yet.
"All I will say, we don't want a bad Rick Grimes movie, right? We want an amazing Rick Grimes movie and so everybody behind-the-scenes is making sure that when this comes out it is worth the wait, and it is actually the special character building Rick Grimes journey that everybody wants it to be. And so we're not going to be rushing this thing out, and we're going to make sure that it's perfect."
Back in April, GamesRadar reported that Andrew Lincoln said he was hoping to film the movies in the spring (so some time between March-May) – it's possible the pandemic has slowed things down, but it could also just be down to the creators trying to stick the landing with these movies.
Effects extraordinaire Greg Nicotero underlined this during a conversation with Comic Book over the weekend. "I wish I knew, and I wish I could say [when it's happening]. 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."
Check out the first 2019 teaser below, which promises the movie is coming to theaters:
What else is new with The Walking Dead?
The Walking Dead returns for its eleventh and final season on August 22, 2021 in the US, which will run for a massive 24 episodes. Meanwhile, spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead will debut its seventh season on October 17, 2021.
For those who really can't get enough of this universe, too, teen-focused series The Walking Dead: World Beyond is back for its second and final season on October 3, 2021.
This is a massive year for the post-apocalyptic franchise, then – and that's before the Rick Grimes movies have gone into production.
On top of those, the anthology show Tales of the Walking Dead is also in the works, along with a spin-off from the main show based on Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride).
Analysis: How much more of The Walking Dead does the world need?
The fact is, these shows exist because The Walking Dead is now a permanent part of our popular culture. While the main show's US ratings have dropped significantly over time, that's pretty much the case with any show in the age of streaming – it's no doubt lucrative, even if it's been many years since it was the hot new thing on TV.
In a lot of ways, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are a pair. They kicked off a new age of elevated adult genre show in the wake of Lost and Battlestar Galactica's finales – indeed, the existence of modern adaptations like The Boys and The Stand owe something to The Walking Dead, because it showed you could make something movie-quality on the small screen without many visible compromises.
The Walking Dead is also unique in that it exists in many forms beyond the core show. As well as its spin-offs, the comic books – which ended suddenly in 2019 – are set in their own universe with a different sequence of events than the show.
And on top of that, The Walking Dead games told an entirely different story to the show. Their main character, a young woman called Clementine, just debuted in the comics' universe last month in a series called Skybound X.
So, at this point, Rick Grimes is really just a small part of a much larger story.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.