Extremely anticipated and awaited by longtime fans, The Rick Grimes Walking Dead Movie may be coming sooner than many of us expected. This, according to director Rosemary Rodriguez, who has suggested that Andrew Lincoln's long-awaited return to the franchise will be coming our way in 2021. What's more, she assures that it will be happening on the big screen. That means we could be seeing Rick's return in theaters sometime next year. Though the emphasis is on could for the time being.

Recently, the official Twitter account for The Walking Dead posed a question to its followers asking, "What are you most looking forward to in 2021?" Rosemary Rodriguez, who has helmed several episodes of the hit AMC series, chimed in to stir the pot a bit. Rodriguez retweeted the message and responded with the following.

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"Finding Rick Grimes on the big screen! #TWDFamily"

It may only be a handful of words, but there is much to process in that statement. Andrew Lincoln starred as Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead from its first episode and through much of season 9. The actor then departed the show, though Rick wasn't killed off. Instead, his exit set the stage for a planned trilogy of TWD movies that would center on his character, with Universal Pictures, at least at one point, set to distribute the first installment theatrically. The movies were originally announced more than two years ago, with few official updates provided in the time since. That would make this a rather significant update, assuming this isn't just wishful thinking on the filmmaker's part.

If we are to assume the Rick Grimes movie will indeed arrive next year, a whole lot needs to happen in a relatively short amount of time. Other actors need to be cast. A script needs to be completed (though that may have already been accomplished quietly). But most importantly, production needs to take place. Given the current state of the industry, that may be incredibly difficult. Andrew Lincoln recently spoke with The Associated Press, with the outlet stating that filming on the movie might take place in spring 2021. At least that's the hope right now. As we've seen this year, plans can change in the blink of an eye and everything is tentative.

Even if cameras get rolling in the spring, and that could be a big if, it would still be tough to meet a theatrical release date for The Walking Dead movie. But the various shows in TWD universe have managed to get production up and running again, with the extended season 10 set to debut early next year. It is at least conceivable that this is a bit more than just wishful thinking. The Walking Dead Chief Content Officer, for his part, has promised recently that the movie will be "amazing." We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further updates on the project are made available. You can check out the original post from Rosemary Rodriguez's Twitter account.