In Season 9 of The Walking Dead, fans said a ‘temporary’ goodbye to their leading man, Rick Grimes, portrayed by Andrew Lincoln. Content guru, Scott Gimple, made it clear that we aren’t done with Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and that we will be seeing a Rick Grimes trilogy on the big screen. However, Rick’s return may not be what you hope.
Originally, the first of the Rick Grimes films was anticipated to arrive in theaters in 2020 but there rumors that it is significantly delayed due to disagreements on the tone of the film and the script.
As well, Andrew Lincoln was originally set to return to the set of The Walking Dead to direct an episode for Season 10 and those plans were scrapped. So, at the moment, Lincoln’s involvement with the show and film are unknown.
Additionally, there has to be some concern as to how well a Walking Dead film will perform in theaters. There appears to be some Walking Dead fatigue as the show moves into it’s tenth season and we are on the cusp of seeing a third Walking Dead show, The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Viewership numbers for The Walking Dead are at an all-time low. However, fan reviews of Season 10 as a whole and each episode is at an all-time high under showrunner, Angela Kang.
Knowing that Rick Grimes is alive in the world of The Walking Dead has caused a lot of fuss from fans. Fan love Rick Grimes because of what he was willing to do to protect his family but can’t comprehend why seven years later he has not come back for his family. This will have to be explained immediately in the films and it has to be believable.
Let’s explore some of the popular theories that are floating around.
Theory One – Rick Grimes Has Lost His Memory
Rick was injured in the explosion and doesn’t remember a thing about his past. This would be the most logical theory to explain why Rick hasn’t come for Michonne and Judith. For this conversation, we know R.J. exists but he’s become such an afterthought on the show that no one is even telling him to go back in the house (Carl throwback). However, this is also such a cliche event in storytelling that, even though it works, it wouldn’t be that exciting of a plot point.
Theory Two – Rick Grimes Is Severely Injured
Rick may have suffered such a severe injury that he physically can’t leave the community where he’s now living. Let’s be honest. This theory is terrible and makes for a lousy three movies. If Rick Grimes is injured and can’t travel, then he’s probably not going to be doing much in the three scheduled films.
Theory Three – Rick Grimes Can’t Go Far
Whatever has happened to Rick from the bridge explosion or the events in transporting him to wherever he is, he’s now tethered to this location and can’t go very far. Rick, with full memory, would pursue Michonne and Judith and return home. However, if something were keeping him tied to his new location, he’d have to stay there or close by. It’s possible that Rick’s injuries require medical treatment that he has to have daily or weekly.
We know the three communities are more technological advanced, so he may have access to medical equipment that he would not in Alexandria. For example, if Rick now required dialysis for kidneys or something of that nature, he may only be able to keep on living if he stays where he is. Rick is now staying alive with the long-term goal that he gets word to Michonne and Judith somehow of where he is and that he’s alive.
Theory Four – It Was All A Dream, But It’s Starting Over
What if the television show, The Walking Dead, was all a dream and when the time jumped we were seeing it from someone else’s perspective. But now, Rick Grimes wakes up to learn his family is alive and well. However, with years of ‘dreaming experience’, as the real zombie apocalypse now starts, Rick gets a do-over!
Theory Five – Rick’s A Walker
Three, full, shambling movies of watching a walker Rick Grimes walk through the wilderness. It’s like a Nat-Geo documentary but from a walker’s perspective.
What theory do you agree with? What is your theory on where Rick is and why he hasn’t come back for his family?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
The Walking Dead returns February 23 at 9 p.m. on AMC.