Warning! There’s spoilers for AMC’s The Walking Dead in this story, particularly concerning the most recent episode. Turn away now if you’re trying to remain spoiler-free.
With it being known for some time that actor Andrew Lincoln, who has long played protagonist Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead, was planning to exit the series. Now that the episode has aired, Rick has disappeared from the story without definition of what exactly happened to him. Immediately after, dismissing pretty much all mystery, AMC announced that Rick will continue through three made-for-AMC movies over the next few years.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movies will begin production next year in 2019. AMC is planning to make the movies with an apparently theatrical movie budget, but airing them exclusively on the network.
You might ask the question of, why bother to write Rick out from the series if Lincoln was just going to continue creating new stories in The Walking Dead? It is mostly so Lincoln can spend time with his family and deal with the more flexible nature of filming movies rather than being on a TV series in perpetuity.
The Walking Dead is currently in its ninth season.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]