Andrew Lincoln is not done with The Walking Dead after all.
The actor departed the hit AMC drama during Sunday's episode, and while many thought Rick Grimes' storyline was over, there are already plans to follow the character on a brand new journey.
Executive Producer Scott Gimple confirmed on The Talking Dead following The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 5 that three movies were in the works and that Lincoln would be leading the cast of them.
The films will “expand the universe” and “show a whole different corner of the world,” presumably taking place in a location closer to Andrew's home in the United Kingdom.
"It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning,” Lincoln admitted during an interview on The Talking Dead.
“And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista. And I’ve always been interested in what’s going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world."
"I want to know the meta of it all. And I suppose to be able to kind of touch upon that in a contained story for me is a very exciting proposition … Maybe it’s the start of a bigger story.”
“We have a lot on the horizon – starting with a new epic featuring one of the greatest leading actors in television history and one of the best people I’ve ever met,” said Gimple in a statement issued by AMC, adding:
“These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features."
"We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices."
"We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead,” Gimple continued.
“We believe this is a world and narrative with many possibilities and opportunities for character development and we’re excited to expand the series into a franchise that can live across multiple formats,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.
“For many years, fans have talked about things in the apocalypse they want to see and now we have an opportunity to explore those stories, beginning with the character who started it all, Rick Grimes.”
After months of rumors, Andrew confirmed that The Walking Dead Season 9 would serve as his swan song on the hit drama series.
"This will be my last season, playing the part of Rick Grimes,” he said during the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel.
“I love [Walking Dead]. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I promise not to cry — I’ve done enough crying on screen."
“I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show, you people,” Lincoln continued of the fans.
“This has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my career… So I just want to thank you.”
If you watch The Walking Dead online, you know that Rick's journey on the series didn't exactly end in happiness.
He was given a new lease on life thanks Jadis who took him away on a helicopter after he was presumed dead for blowing the bridge up to save everyone from a herd of walkers.
What are your thoughts on this news, The Walking Dead Fanatics?
Hit the comments below.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.