The Walking Dead Finally Revealed How Andrew Lincoln And Danai Gurira Will Return As Rick And Michonne (And It Won't Be In Theaters)

Rick Grimes standing outside in Alexandria on The Walking Dead
(Image credit: AMC)

After nearly four years years of The Walking Dead fans suffering from a Rick Grimes drought, with Andrew Lincoln having exited the flagship series back in mid-Season 9, AMC and franchise overlord Scott Gimple have finally given everyone a confirmed reason to celebrate. Lincoln is confirmed to be reuniting with Danai Gurira's also-missed badass Michonne for a brand new project that won't be a series of features as was originally planned. Rather, they're getting their own TV spinoff!

Following the San Diego Comic-Con panels for Tales of the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira joined Scott Gimple on stage to announce an as-yet-untitled limited series for AMC Studios that will continue the epic relationship and journey for Rick and Michonne. The six-episode series will debut in 2023, with Gimple serving as showrunner, and all three taking on executive producer duties.

Here's how Andrew Lincoln responded in a statement:

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.

They really seem to be playing up the love story elements here, which makes a lot of sense, seeing as how they don't have their children around to mess up their romantic moments. I kid, of course, since returning to their loved ones will almost definitely have to play into the story. Not to mention explaining how they reunited in the first place. It's going to be a real bummer if it takes three eps to bring them back together. But for now, we stay optimistic!

Michonne bloodied in The Walking Dead

(Image credit: AMC)

And here's what Danai Gurira had to say about reprising Michonne for the first time following her exit in Season 10.

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.

It’s unclear if this project has any bearing on rumors that Gurira was getting her own spinoff series at Disney+ based on her Black Panther character. But we know it won’t get in the way of Lincoln’s upcoming small screen return for an episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix anthology Cabinet of Curiosities, since that series will be debuting later this year.

This news comes as quite a shock to fans that have been waiting for updates on what was being planned as a theatrical trilogy completely focusing on Rick Grimes. Updates for that project were few and far between, as all things COVID were as big a detriment to progress as the creative side of things. But while Danai Gurira's involvement with the feature plan was only assumed, now we know that Michonne will be just as much a part of Rick's return as the former lawman himself. 

2023 feels like it's way too far away, but fans can look forward to seeing not only another season of Fear the Walking Dead and the debut season of Isle of the Dead, but now we know we'll also be watching Rick and Michonne wrapping up their stories for good, and on AMC where it should be. While waiting for that glorious day to come, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are heading to primetime and beyond.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.