Despite the recent exit of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, AMC's The Walking Dead will eventually look to adapt the finale of the Image Comics series, albeit loosely.
Image's The Walking Dead concluded earlier this year with the release of issue #193. Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn, The Walking Dead #193 takes place after the death of Rick Grimes, who was killed one issue prior. On television, however, Lincoln's Rick left the series and is set to appear in the upcoming Walking Dead movie.
Still, Walking Dead Universe Chief Content Officer and former TWD showrunner Scott M. Gimple wants to one day adapt the comic book's finale story, fully aware of the challenges Rick's absence brings to the table. Gimple hopes that even with Rick out of the equation, the show's team will be able to bring the finale's broader themes to screens.
"I knew a lot aspects of the finale and I knew that Robert had been working toward a finale and he had mentioned some ballpark aspects but he held back a lot because he know I wouldn’t want spoilers," Gimple told Deadline. "He had told me some things early on but I always thought the comic book series would keep on going [without Rick], which ignited my imagination in that direction. How is this going to work? How is that going to play out?
"So for maybe two years I was thinking about it along those lines, as the start of a new story," he continued, "Which, for us [and the screen adaptations] it probably will be. The biggest thing is we will tell that finale story one day. And to me, that finale story -- and Robert agrees-- plays a lot like a pilot. Honoring the aspects of [the broader] finale story without the death of Rick Grimes will be a challenge to our storytelling."
Following Rick's death in The Walking Dead #192, issue #193 picks things up after a massive timeskip. The finale follows Carl Grimes -- Rick's son -- and the various other survivors, showing what their lives have become years after Rick's demise, with the popular zombie comic ending on a hopeful note. Exactly how closely the team behind AMC's television adaptation will be able to follow this story remains to be seen. The Walking Dead recently premiered its tenth season, and has already been renewed for Season 11.
The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton, Cooper Andrews, Avi Nash, and Samantha Morton. It airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.