Despite a prolonged pause in production, The Walking Dead movie that will focus on the continuing adventures of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes is making substantial progress, according to executive producer David Alpert.
"We're coming along in a big way. We're just in this particular space where we have [to wait]. We can't shoot right now, so that's just the big thing holding us back."
Alpert, the Skybound Entertainment co-founder, gave the positive update during a virtual Skybound Xpo panel titled "Skybound: Past, Present, and Future."
"We are desperate to get back into production, and get everything going, but we have something really exciting, really unique, really different, and can't wait to get it going. We just have to wait for it to be safe."
A movie revolving around now departed The Walking Dead protagonist Rick Grimes was announced by chief content officer and former showrunner Scott Gimple immediately following Andrew Lincoln's surprise exit from the AMC television series back in November 2018. The as-yet-untitled feature is the proposed beginning of a trilogy of movies that will follow Grimes and Anne, formerly Jadis of the survival group The Scavengers, and played by Pollyanna McIntosh.
The movie will reportedly reveal what happened to the pair after the events of the season 9, episode 5 episode What Comes After, in which Rick and Anne were shuttled away aboard a Civic Republic Military helicopter and taken to a new corner of the zombie-ravaged world.
Alongside David Alpert, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is also heavily involved with the Rick Grimes feature and said that the production delay could even help to improve the movie.
"There's tons of stuff going on behind the scenes. I don't want anyone to think that we're just kind of waiting around for this pandemic to end," Kirkman said. "I would say that, if anything, the pandemic is going to make a lot of movies better. I think the Rick Grimes movie chief among them, just because we're getting a lot more time to cook this thing and make sure it's perfect."
Kirkman then teased much more to come once things again find some semblance of normality saying, "But when things do quiet down, you guys are going to hear a ton more about this movie."
The trailer that was released during San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019 hinted that Rick and Anne will be transported to Philadelphia, a so-far unexplored corner of The Walking Dead universe. Though not too much else is currently known about the direction of the movie, producer Scott Gimple provided some details earlier this year suggesting it will be even bigger than the series. "We are going to continue to tell Rick's story, and we are going to discover so much of the world through that story," Gimple said back in January.
"Rick will be challenged in different ways that, in some ways, everything that he's been through has sort of prepared him for. It's a much larger world than one that he had been operating in, and that was challenging in and of itself. Now things are heightened, and just as we're going to the movies, and it is the movies proper, suitably widescreen, we're going to be filling that screen with a brand-new world."