Though production on The Walking Dead spinoff Rick Grimes movies has been slow going, COVID-19 could cause further delays.
Hollywood is moving quickly to stop the spread of novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. By Thursday night several major networks announced that production on their television shows would stop for at least two weeks while late night talk shows go on without studio audiences. With production halting on so many shows and movies, it stands to reason that work on The Walking Dead Rick Grimes movies could be impacted as well.
Studios are halting production on shows and movies. Grey’s Anatomy, the Dick Wolf Chicago dramas and even the Kelly Clarkson talk show are ceasing production. The Chicago series are close to filming their season finales and the decision has been made to stop their seasons where they stand while other shows could continue production when filming resumes.
News of the Rick Grimes movies has been slow to arrive since being announced in 2019. After Scott M. Gimple announced plans for the films on Talking Dead last spring, the only major news fans received was the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con that the movies were being produced for theatrical release thanks to a partnership with Universal. As of this writing it remains unclear whether there will still be a trilogy of Rick Grimes movies, or if plans have changed.
Since SDCC, however, there has not been a lot of information forthcoming. It makes sense, given that the movies were originally planned to be released on television. A theatrical release changes how scripts are written and how much time it would take to bring them to life, coupled with the fact that Andrew Lincoln’s schedule has been tied up filming the movie Penguin Bloom.
Now, as production has halted on shows and movies for at least the next two weeks, there is a good chance that this could push the Rick Grimes movies back even more. Though the current shutdowns are scheduled to last two to three weeks, the possibility of further delays due to coronavirus in the future call everything into question. The impact to the Rick Grimes movies would be felt if shutdowns last longer than a few weeks, especially given that Lincoln would likely need to travel from his home in the UK to the US to film and travel restrictions could make that challenging.
At this point we have no indication that production on any of The Walking Dead shows have been impacted by coronavirus, though things are changing on an hourly basis. Fear the Walking Dead is about halfway through filming and World Beyond’s first season is ready to go when it premieres on April 12, so even if there is a delay with Fear it would likely not cause a significant delay by the time season 6 premieres later this year.
If nothing else, production on season 11 of The Walking Dead could be delayed depending on how long studios choose to shut down. However, whether the shows or movies are in production pales in importance next to the very serious things happening in the world around us right now. This is a developing story so make sure to keep checking back with us for more information as it becomes available.