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– by Seth McDonald

****SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 9 FOLLOW BELOW****

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The majority of the Walking Dead fans have known for quite some time now of Andrew Lincoln’s exit from the show. We’ve all been watching the current season in anticipation of how and when it would happen. Well, last night’s episode took care of both of those questions, as Rick made the rounds visiting with old friends before his exit.

As far as the long-running AMC series, Andrew Lincoln’s time as Rick Grimes is done. However, the character will continue on in the form of films set in The Walking Dead universe, and centering on Rick Grimes. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln discusses how the idea came about to have Rick live on through the films.

“No, it wasn’t. And I don’t know, it could’ve been Scott, it could’ve been me, it could’ve been anybody…. I think what it was is that I’ve always wanted to film the show with more scale and more time. Just because it’s so hard to do this show, and it’s remarkable that people are being able to do an eight-day shoot and achieve what we’ve achieved. And I suppose it was borne out of the idea that I’ve always been fascinated by the bigger picture. And I never thought that they would sort of go with it, because AMC’s a company, and why would they want to do it?

And I suppose I just threw it out there to [Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple].  I said, ‘What do you think about doing a film? A two-hour contained story, a continuation.’ And he described it as where our show is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern — the grown-up show is Hamlet. And I’ve always thought: Why don’t we look at what’s happening? We get glimpses of what’s happening, or stories of what’s been happening in the rest of America, and I’ve always loved that part of the show. When we meet people, and ‘What happened to you? What’s been going on?’

And I suppose when I realized that I couldn’t give the time because it was time to come back to my family, I realized that I would regret doing a shortened season. Even now, it’s been very hard leaving the show, and having one eye on the show as it continues because it just doesn’t feel right. It’s not the way that I’ve done the show. So I said, ‘Well, what about if we did something like this?’ And it was very late. It was last year, and then it came in right towards the end of the year. They just said, “Let’s do it.”

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Like most fans, I am sad to see Rick leave the show, but it’s nice to know that his story isn’t over and that we will see him in the future. According to the quote, this idea is fairly recent and seemed to come about quickly. As I write this piece, I am just now finishing the episode and seeing what happened to Rick. While I have had my problems with the show over recent seasons, I think they handled Rick’s departure in a satisfying way.

What are your thoughts on these films? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: EW