Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Trailer Shows the Rick Grimes Movie That Could Have Been

The first trailer for The Walking Dead's Rick and Michonne spinoff teases a love story set in zombie wartime.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
Photo: Gene Page | AMC

Back when actor Andrew Lincoln exited The Walking Dead in season 9, AMC was quick to clarify that it wouldn’t be the last we’d see of the hero Rick Grimes. Just as the credits on Rick’s final episode “What Comes After” began to roll, the network sent out a press release announcing that there would be a movie, or possibly a series of movies, starring the Kentucky sheriff-turned-post-apocalyptic ubermensch.

Of course, time dragged on, schedules changed, and a pandemic or two popped up, necessitating a new medium for the next chapter of Rick’s story. Instead of a movie series, Rick would a co-lead a TV miniseries spinoff called The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live alongside Danai Gurira’s Michonne. Now the first official trailer for The Ones Who Live has arrived and we’ll be damned if it doesn’t look just like the Rick Grimes movies that could have been. Check it out below and see what we mean!

As the TV Editor of this fine establishment, I often bristle when someone refers to a TV show as being “movie quality.” But even I must concede that the two minutes here look far more cinematic than televisual. For starters, the scale is truly impressive. In this clip alone we see: a crumbling skyline (of what appears to be Philadelphia), a World War II-scale army (“This is the most powerful military on the planet,” someone offscreen claims), a helicopter shooting a rocket into a building, and Michonne launching a grappling hook into the largest horde of zombies this franchise has ever seen.

Not for nothing, we also get to see Lost star Terry O’Quinn wear the hell of this little army cap.

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The Ones Who Live‘s scale makes sense not only because of its cinematic origins but because of the powerful nature of the organization at its center. The Walking Dead fans have previously met the Civic Republic Military (CRM) in the flagship series, Fear the Walking Dead, and most extensively in The Walking Dead: World Beyond. It’s by far the most politically advanced and martially-capable society introduced in the franchise yet and it seems to be the only entity big enough to keep a man like Rick Grimes down … for now at least.

AMC’s official description for The Ones Who Live reads:

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?”

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premieres Sunday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+.