What Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes Movies Originally Looked Like Before The Ones Who Live

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Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.
Summary The Ones Who Live benefits from being a TV series, ensuring Rick and Michonne’s quick reunion.
The original plan for a Rick Grimes trilogy wouldn’t of had Michonne appear until the second movie.
Transitioning to a limited series was more natural due to structure and pacing, enhancing storytelling.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live showrunner Scott Gimple explains a major way the story changed when it became a television series. When Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) first exited The Walking Dead in season 9, it was announced that his story would continue in a film trilogy. Michonne (Danai Gurira) exiting the series in season 10 to search for Rick further set up the films. In 2022, it was announced that the story would instead be told in a limited series, which became The Ones Who Live.
While speaking with TVLine, Gimple revealed the initial plans for the Rick Grimes trilogy and how they changed, largely because of the logistical and narrative challenges that existed when The Walking Dead was still running after Rick’s exit. Read Gimple’s explanation below:
It was a very, very different thing that actually was going through a lot of iterations unto itself. When we started [developing] the films, Danai was still on [The Walking Dead], so she was not in that first movie, and thus it was just enormously different. In the second film, because I knew [Danai] would be available by then, and I knew she was unbelievably critical. But that made for a very different movie, even though Rick’s circumstances were very much the same, and the relationship with CRM and the city was very much the same.
Why The Ones Who Live Works Better As A Television Series
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The greatest strength of The Ones Who Live is the long-awaited reunion and epic love story of Rick and Michonne. The series wastes no time getting to this as episode 1 ended with their reunion after showing what Rick had endured under the CRM (Civic Republic Military). A movie focused solely on Rick and his life in the Civic Republic would’ve been intriguing, but it would’ve been disappointing to not have Michonne be a part of it and to delay their reunion until the second film. This would’ve robbed the story of its heart and Gurira’s performance for too long.
Related The CRM’s Plan In The Walking Dead Explained (In Full) As shows like The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live have revealed, the Civic Republic Military has a complicated, long-term plan to achieve its goals.
The series not only reunited them quickly, but the second episode took time to backtrack and thoroughly explore Michonne’s journey to find Rick, which gave new characters like Nat (Matthew August Jeffers) the chance to have his own satisfying arc while also influencing Michonne’s development. The second movie probably would’ve been too far along in Rick’s story to take the time to do this with Michonne. Along with Michonne’s absence in the first film, continuing the story as movies likely would’ve necessitated more big action set pieces and possibly fewer emotionally intimate scenes.
Episode four, which acts as a bottle episode written by Gurira, is arguably the best installment in The Ones Who Live. The relatively quiet episode focused on Rick and Michonne gradually confronting their trauma and reconnecting after years apart. Rick and Michonne’s story was better suited to the pacing and structure of a television series. The transition from The Walking Dead to the six-episode limited series of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is more natural than to films, which have far different structure and pacing.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is available to stream on AMC+.
Source: TVLine

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