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SYFY WIRE The Walking Dead

'The Walking Dead' showrunner teases ‘epic and insane love story’ in Rick and Michonne spinoff

It's not just a reunion; it's a ‘power couple’ returning to the fight, says Scott M. Gimple.

By Benjamin Bullard
Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira

Up until last month, it had been a long while since The Walking Dead fans had heard from Rick Grimes. After hovering away from the main series in Season 9, the Andrew Lincoln-portrayed character, along with Michonne (Danai Gurira, who exited the following season) have been MIA in AMC’s post-apocalyptic universe, with the network teasing a Rick Grimes movie trilogy that’s since morphed into a new spinoff series featuring the pair’s post-departure adventures on the small screen.

Lincoln and Gurira made huge waves when they showed up for a surprise appearance last month at San Diego Comic-Con, revealing the new series along with the news (via Entertainment Weekly) that its initial six-episode run wouldn’t be just a limited, one-time thing. Now EW has reported additional details from showrunner Scott M. Gimple about the Rick-and-Michonne spinoff, and let’s just say it sounds intense…in more ways than one.

Not only is Rick returning with a major chip on his shoulder, Gimple reportedly teased as part of the network’s The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special; he and Michonne are embarking on an “epic and insane love story” as “an incredible power couple.”

“It's an epic love story,” Gimple said. “But it's an epic and insane love story. These are two people that have been separated for a very long time. They've lived whole other existences and they have to find themselves again, let alone each other. And it's hopefully going to be mind-blowing.”

Lest fans fret that two of TWD’s most seasoned survivors will have lost a step in their separate sojourns apart from the main gang, Gimple assured that the duo will return energized and ready to slice through any obstruction that blocks their path. “We see this incredible power couple, but we also see that ‘Red Machete’ Rick. We see that Michonne, who taught a thing or two to the Governor. It kind of goes coast to coast that way, between the intimate and the epic and the insane.”

Though two-season spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond has expanded on the mysterious Civic Republic Military that snatched Rick up in a helicopter and whisked him away from the action in Season 9, there’s still tons we don’t know about the powerful faction’s intentions. The new spinoff is set to clue us in, with both Rick and Michonne (who set out on her own in Season 10 to find him) apparently on a collision course not only for a long-delayed reunion, but — for better or worse — with the CRM itself.

“I personally can't wait to get my cowboy boots back on and get the gang back together,” Lincoln said at last month’s surprise SDCC panel, with Gurira picking up the thread: “He has to find his woman first.” Armed with Gimple’s new details, now we have a clearer picture of how they’ll tackle the shambling apocalypse (and its would-be power players) once they finally find each other after all this time apart.

AMC hasn’t yet revealed an official title for the Rick-and-Michonne spinoff, but it’s slated to arrive in 2023. “I've been working on it very, very deeply with Danai and with Andy,” Gimple teased during this week’s preview, “and we continue to work on it pretty much every day together with some Walking Dead vets and some great new voices.”

While we wait for next year’s premiere, there’s plenty to catch up on with the main series: The Walking Dead resumes its split final season when the third batch of Season 11 episodes premieres on Oct. 2 at AMC.

Looking for more horror TV? SYFY and USA's hit series Chucky returns for Season 2 this October, with Season 1 streaming now on Peacock.