Remember the Rick that bit a guy’s throat out? The Rick who broke out of Terminus? The Rick who, covered in blood and slightly unhinged, bellowed at the residents of Alexandria that they needed to learn how to fight to survive? Yeah, that’s the Rick we want to see in these movies, not the defeated or crestfallen dude who sulked on our screens in Season 7. Bring back that murderous beard and head tilt, please.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
DO: A decent explanation for Rick’s absence
For fans of Rick’s character and the Richonne ‘ship, this is probably the most important. He’s been gone for six years, without so much as a letter written to the still-heartbroken Michonne (Danai Gurira). It’s clear he’s the love of her life, and before he was swept away by a helicopter, it was equally obvious she was his. So why hasn’t he come back? The movies need to explain in a logical, realistic manner why Rick hasn’t stolen a helicopter and flown back to his family.
DON’T: Long, drawn out speeches
Part of what made Seasons 7 and 8 insufferable (and why Fear is currently nowhere close to being as good as it used to be) revolves around one key aspect: dialogue. Those two seasons of the main show and the past two seasons of its spinoff have been mostly comprised of people giving speeches to each other rather than having actual conversations, talking about how they have a duty to save people or how the world “isn’t gone.”
It was hard enough to take an hour of it once a week, and it’d be a colossal disappointment if that ends up being the way the Rick movies are written. Realistic dialogue and actual character development, please.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
DO: A new Jadis/Anne
Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) wasn’t exactly a fan-favorite when she was introduced (those trash people were weird, man) but in Season 9, she at least seemed to be getting more interesting. The movies could retroactively explain the off-putting oddness of the garbage brigade by making them all tied to CRM, but more importantly, viewers need a good reason to care about Anne and development that makes her more likable. She endeared herself to fans by saving Rick, but some more development — and a bigger storyline — would be excellent.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
DO: Rick and Michonne’s reunion
Apparently multiple movies are being planned, so it’s not likely this would happen in the first. But eventually, it’d be awesome to see Rick and Michonne together again, and if it’s on the big screen, even better. It’d hard to imagine Rick’s story concluding any other way. Plus, with Danai Gurira departing the show in the second half of Season 10, it’d be awesome to see her again in any capacity.
Where on Earth did he go? In the same interview with EW, Gimple didn’t have much to say about Heath’s whereabouts or whether he’s with CRM. But seriously, if he’s still alive, where else could he have gone? Corey Hawkins isn’t doing the 24 reboot anymore, so presumably, he’d be available to film the movies. It’d be nice to have another familiar face with Rick as he adjusts to life with — and presumably tries to escape from — CRM. And please, for the love of God, here’s hoping the movies would treat Heath better than the show treated Morales.
DON’T: Constant doom and gloom
Another reason Season 7 was so ill-received was because it was a bummer. A constant bummer. There was very little hope to be had throughout those episodes, and between the long speeches and incessant darkness, it was hard to find a reason to keep watching. Now, this isn’t to say CRM should be all sunshine and rainbows — we’ve already learned from Isabelle that these people aren’t good. But there should at least be a faint glimmer that everything could turn out okay. If there isn’t, these movies are going to be incredibly hard to watch.
DO: Althea gets involved
Before you let out an exasperated groan, hear me out. While Fear hasn’t given Al (Maggie Grace) much to do besides following people around and asking “What’s your story?”, there is a potentially interesting storyline for her in the Rick Grimes movies. Currently, she’s sitting on the biggest story she’s ever had, and she can’t do anything with it.
What if she went looking for Isabelle and CRM, and she found Rick instead? What if she joined CRM and secretly investigated it? Maggie Grace is an excellent actress, and much of fans’ annoyance with her character boils down to the script. The Fear writers likely wouldn’t be penning her story in the movies, so she could become more likable and multidimensional if she joined up with Rick rather than stayed with Morgan.
DO: Rick and Morgan, together again
If Althea heads to the Rick movies, it’s possible Morgan might, too. That could actually be of huge benefit to Fear, as it seems Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) would be the one probably left in charge, and a show led by her character would be infinitely more interesting. But it’d be nice to see Morgan and Rick find each other for a fourth time, given everything they’ve been through together (though the real emotional reunion would probably be between Rick and Daryl. Brothers forever.)
DON’T: Toning everything down
There’s little doubt that the theatrical release of the movies is meant to bring in viewers who haven’t yet boarded the TWD train (although if you haven’t boarded 10+ seasons in, maybe it’s not heading in a destination to which you want to travel). With those new viewers comes worry about the rating: would a PG-13 rating mean toned down violence and less scary walkers? One of the best things about TWD has always been how realistic the zombies look, and even though it can be disgusting, the gore adds to the realism. Fans would be disappointed to see those aspects of the show minimized in hopes of bringing in a different audience.
While there's still no release date (apparently the script is still being finalized), it's not too early to speculate about some things we do and don't want to happen when "Officer Friendly" makes his big-screen appearance.