The Walking Dead series universe is set to expand as AMC network has announced that a series of films about the character Rick Grimes are in development.
Actor Andrew Lincoln, who has played Grimes in The Walking Dead, made an exit from the show on the November 4 episode, and will feature in the films. The network announced that a series of films about the character are in development, with the first expected to begin production early next year, reported CNN.
Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, longtime producer of the series, will executive produce and write the films.
The Walking Dead had been billed as the last appearance by Lincoln on the mothership series. A surprise twist at the end of the episode revealed Grimes, who had been severely injured in an explosion, was not dead as his friends and fellow survivors had presumed. He was rescued by helicopter in the final moments of the episode.
The first film will explore where Grimes was taken and "what he faces in the new corner of the zombie apocalypse", AMC said.
"It's not the beginning of the end, it's the end of the beginning. And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista," Lincoln said on "The Talking Dead", AMC's after-show about the zombie hit.
"I've always been interested in what's going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world," he added.
Gimple called the films a "big evolution of what we've been doing on the show."
"We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that's captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead," Gimple said in a statement, according to CNN.