AMC’s The Walking Dead may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the network has any plans to sunset the zombie-ridden universe. During the Walking Dead spotlight panel today it was announced that Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira will reprise their roles as Rick Grimes and Michonne, respectively, for a new series set debuting in 2023. The series will follow the two characters as they find their way back to each other.
Here’s how AMC describes the forthcoming series, which is as-yet untitled:
This series presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?
Following Lincoln’s departure from the Walking Dead mothership series in 2018, it was announced that Rick Grimes would be the lead character in a series of Walking Dead movies. Those movies now appear to be off the table, with this new series set to take their place. For her part, Gurira has been busy as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portraying the Dora Milaje leader Okoye in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and beyond. It’s been reported that Gurira will also headline her own Disney+ series as Okoye, though no official word has been released on that yet.
Lots of people expressed their excitement over the Rick and Michonne Walking Dead series, including Lincoln, Gurira, AMC Studios president Dan McDermott, and Walking Dead producer Scott Gimple:
“This is a moment fans of The Walking Dead have been waiting for since Rick disappeared in the helicopter early in season nine, and Michonne journeyed away on a quest to find him the following season,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “What a great surprise for the fans at this final Comic-Con for the series that launched this universe and made television history. We couldn’t be more excited for a truly epic series finale later this year and to see Andy and Danai return in a new series they helped create, one of three new series coming in 2023 that continue the stories of so many iconic and fan-favorite TWD characters.”
“Rick and Michonne are two of my favorite people and Danai and Andy are two of my favorite people,” Gimple said. “Working with all of them continues to be a dream come true. The three of us, along with a terrific team of TWD all stars and incredible new voices, are crafting an insane love epic worth the long, long wait.”
“This has been the most extraordinary journey playing Rick Grimes for the best part of a decade. The friendships I’ve made along the way are deep and lasting, so it’s fitting that I finally get to complete the story with Danai and Scott and the rest of the TWD family. I’m so excited to be returning to the screen as Rick, reuniting with Danai as Michonne, and bringing the fans an epic love story to add to the Walking Dead Universe.”
Said Gurira: “Michonne and this TWD family has meant so much to me, and to continue the journey of these beloved characters, alongside Scott and Andy, both creatively and in front of the camera, and bringing The Walking Dead fans something truly special is just glorious. I can’t wait to pick up the katana again.”
The Rick & Michonne Walking Dead spinoff series will debut with an initial six-episode run in 2023.