"For many years, fans have talked about things in the apocalypse they want to see and now we have an opportunity to explore those stories, beginning with the character who started it all, Rick Grimes".
"I thought the idea of a character that the audience knows and has lived with - and who has oscillated between psycho and father for nine years - to start in a completely different place, was a really interesting, insane place to begin", he explained.
"We have a lot on the horizon - starting with a new epic featuring one of the greatest leading actors in television history and one of the best people I've ever met", said Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who'll write the script. The first film "will explore the story of where the Rick is taken and what he faces in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse". 'Right now, we're working on three but there's flexibility in that'.
He said: "These films are going to be big evolutions of what we've been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features". But carry on it must, and as it turns out, Rick isn't exactly gone for good.
Has Theresa May secured a breakthrough to seal a Brexit deal?
Brussels would always use the prospect of a hard border in Ireland to keep the United Kingdom "forever" in its orbit, he claimed. Last night Downing Street sought to play down expectation that a customs union deal was close to being agreed.
Which does indeed mean more from Andrew Lincoln, who will be able to fit in more time with family around quick trips Stateside to film the movies instead of the involved schedule of the show.
That schedule pales in comparison to the nine months a year Lincoln spent filming The Walking Dead each season, in the sweltering Atlanta heat. 'We know Rick Grimes, he would want to be home'. There was also one helluva time jump at the very end of the episode, suggesting everyone's moved on long past his supposed death (or, more accurately, disappearance). "We're going to introduce new characters and new situations". Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Alanna Masterson, Danai Gurira, Ross Marquand, Avi Nash, Josh McDermitt, Khary Payton, Seth Gilliam, Sonequa Martin-Green, Pollyanna McIntosh, Katelyn Nacon, IronE Singleton, Michael Cudlitz (wearing a fake Abraham mustache), Chad Coleman, Austin Nichols, Lennie James and Steven Yeun all pay their respects, intercut with fun behind-the-scenes photos from the set.
For more on Lincoln's exit and his thoughts on this huge news, check out his interview with The Hollywood Reporter.