THE WALKING DEAD Showrunners Talk Rick And Michonne's Return In Series Finale And Spin-Off Plans

One of the most exciting developments in The Walking Dead finale saw Rick Grimes and Michonne return to the franchise, setting the stage for their upcoming spin-off. Now, we have intel on how that came to be!

The series finale of The Walking Dead arrived on AMC this past Sunday, and while we bid what appeared to be a permanent farewell to many characters, there were others whose stories will continue.

Daryl is heading to France for his own spin-off, while Negan and Maggie will team up for an adventure in New York. However, perhaps the most exciting plans for The Walking Dead Universe are those revolving around Rick Grimes and Michonne in a reunion that's been a very long time coming. 

Rick's fate has been a mystery to us ever since he was taken to parts unknown in that helicopter, and the finale showed him seemingly being apprehended by that unknown group after attempting to escape (with an unknown city in the background). Michonne, meanwhile, is armoured up and clearly still looking for her lover. 

Talking to Deadline, The Walking Dead showrunners Angela Kang and Scott Gimple explained the decision to tease future plans for the duo in this episode despite their continued absence from the core series. 

"For Rick and Michonne that was the trickiest piece because we were trying to keep that secret and things were leaking right and left all season," Kang recalls. "I think to a lot of fans, it’s not going to feel complete, it’s going to feel satisfying to see them, and everybody kind of was on board that idea."

"Truthfully, though, for a long time, we didn’t know if it was going to happen. I mean, there was a lot behind the scenes to get us to the right place," she continues. "It was really important to Andy, but I think Danai too that it didn’t feel like it was just a coda, that it somehow came as it was stitched into the end piece."

While declining to give too much away about what the future holds in store, Gimple was asked about that mysterious cityscape and responded, "I mean, I don’t want to say obviously, but I will say that there have been hints of it in The Walking Dead Universe."

"It is not New York City. That said, in the future we might see some connections. But yeah, that’s not New York City, and the band is not quite getting back together," he added, dismissing the possibility that Rick and Michonne might somehow cross paths with Maggie and Negan again. 

The series is not likely to premiere until late 2023 or early 2024 at the soonest, and seeing as plans have already changed (it's gone from being a theatrical movie to a limited series over the past couple of years), we don't quite know what we should expect from the continuation of Rick Grimes' story in this world. 

One thing we can say for sure, though, is that while The Walking Dead is over, the franchise still has plenty of life left in it. 

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