Walking Dead
After disappearing from the TV series, Rick Grimes is back in a major way. (Image via Wired)
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Walking Dead

AMC’s smash-hit TV series is finally making the transition to the silver screen.

“The Walking Dead” is finally hitting the big screen with three films, all centered around protagonist Rick Grimes. Originally planned to air on television, these movies are instead tentatively set to be released in theaters beginning in 2020. With a recent trailer release, fans are beginning to conjure up predictions and theories for “The Walking Dead” movie.

From Oct. 2018 to March 2019, AMC aired Season 9 of “The Walking Dead” series, and in Episode 5, Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, nearly met his fate. At the end of the prior episode, Grimes was left impaled by a piece of rebar after he was thrown from his horse leading a herd of the dead away from the four communities. The final scenes show an impaled, unconscious Grimes surrounded by the nearing walkers.

Most fans anticipated this scene to mark the end of Rick Grimes, but in the episode, he managed to escape the seemingly inescapable, mount his horse and led the walkers to a bridge, hoping the recently repaired area would collapse and send the dead into a river rather than toward the communities. Dropping in and out of consciousness due to blood loss, Rick found himself hallucinating and talking to characters, dead and alive.

When he reached the bridge, there was a still moment where he anticipated the bridge’s collapse. Dozens of other characters, including Michonne, Daryl and Maggie, arrived just as Grimes pulls out his revolver to shoot a box of explosives, which sent himself and the walkers into the river, as a last act of heroism.

Anne, also known as Jadis and portrayed by Polyanna McIntosh, had called for a helicopter for reasons originally unknown. As the aircraft arrives, Jadis pleads with the pilots to allow herself and Grimes to be taken to safety. While this plot point remains unknown to those within the four communities — Alexandria, the Hilltop, Oceanside and the Kingdom — the following episode jumps ahead six years, sparking numerous theories for the upcoming “Walking Dead” movie.

On July 19, a teaser trailer was released onto YouTube, which first aired at the San Diego Comic-Con. The short, 24-second trailer revealed that Rick will be back solely in theaters. Throughout the short clip are clues suggesting the setting and base plot of the upcoming movie, including a silhouette of the Philadelphia skyline, the helicopter that took Grimes and three rings which represent a symbol seen on the helicopter in Episode 5.

With a cliffhanger holding the main character’s life in the balance, there is room for creativity and expansion upon the series. Here are a few things we might see in “The Walking Dead” movie.

Amnesia, Captivity or Travel Restrictions?

With a six-year time gap between Rick’s disappearance and the following episode, one prominent question is left dangling mid-air: Why didn’t Rick return back home to Alexandria? Back in Alexandria, Rick had his daughter Judith, Michonne, friends and communities that depended on him.

The first and most simple theory suggests Rick has amnesia, but this would be far too easy of a segue into the “Walking Dead” movie. Rick’s character is extremely family and community-oriented, and his failure to return to both has fans puzzled. Amnesia, though an easy cop-out, would explain his absence best considering what (and who) he left behind in Virginia.

There is also a slight possibility Rick is being held captive or living under tight living constraints. With a possible emergence of the Commonwealth, a network of communities holding around 50,000 people revealed through the comics, community protection might prevent Rick from reuniting with his family.

With thousands of people to protect, these communities might have laws preventing individuals from coming and going. Though being held hostage doesn’t quite make sense considering the condition in which he and Jadis were transported —there were no signs of distress or struggle, meaning the helicopter crew had a different purpose.

The last theory, which was recently disproven, states that travel restrictions are the reason Rick hasn’t returned. With the recent teaser trailer release, however, the city skyline shows the movie takes place in Philadelphia, which is close enough to the locations in the series to rule out this possibility. Between the three theories, Rick being held against his will within a new community seems to be the most-likely-to-occur prediction.

Reunions with original characters

Throughout “The Walking Dead” television series, characters have developed lasting relationships that have left a heavy impact on the show’s plot and expansion. Getting attached to characters throughout the show is nearly inevitable. Fans create ships (or desired character pairings), create attachments to the different characters’ personalities and admire the relationships created on screen.

A reunion many are craving is the comeback of Michonne and Rick. Recently, “The Walking Dead” Season 10 trailer was released, revealing a possible relationship between Michonne and Ezekiel. Michonne, played by Danai Gurira, will be leaving a few episodes into the season. Many theorize she will be leaving in search of Rick. But with Rick presumed to be dead in the TV universe, something major is expected to happen for Michonne to leave her responsibilities behind. This being said, many are anticipating a Michonne-Grimes reunion to play out on the big screen.

In another theory, fans believe Daryl and Rick will reunite. Daryl, played by Norman Reedus, and Rick had a close, brother-like relationship that developed throughout the show. A reunion wouldn’t be too far-fetched but, as in Michonne’s case, Rick is still thought to be dead.

Some expect to see Maggie reappear in “The Walking Dead” movies with her son in some way. A couple of episodes after Rick’s “death,” Maggie, leader of the Hilltop, disappeared along with her baby, and it’s predicted she may stumble upon the same community Rick happened upon.

Possible Yet Unlikely Emergence of The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth “is a group and a network of communities who first appeared in Issue 173 of Image Comics’ ‘The Walking Dead.’” The Commonwealth’s population is composed of different settlements containing around 50,000 survivors, event areas where surviving musicians perform and an army. This network, which is far more advanced than the four existing communities, might play a prominent role in the upcoming film series.

The Commonwealth would be an easy answer as to where Rick would be located, but this would stray from the idea of having an original Grimes spin-off. With this being said, the Commonwealth is more likely to be featured in the show rather than the upcoming film seeing as characters from the comic central to the Commonwealth are emerging in the show.

Finding The Cure

Jadis, throughout her time on the show, has picked up on the “A” and “B” human identifiers. When she was in contact with those on the helicopter, she identified Rick as a “B” subject. Before then even, Jadis had identified Gabriel, portrayed by Seth Gilliam, as a “B” before changing her mind and deeming him an “A.” After changing his status, she tried to infect him by having a walker bite him, but she couldn’t follow through.

There are many theories as to what these letters are referring to. Some believe “B” refers to someone strong and healthy while “A” refers to a person who is infected, and others think these refer to who is and is not willing to join a new community.

The most plausible explanation would be the first, making those who are labeled as “A” and “B” test subjects for a possible cure. If this plot point occurs during “The Walking Dead” movie, the franchise would be left with a great way to end the film and television series.

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