When Andrew Lincoln decided to hang up his boots and sheriff hat and leave The Walking Dead after Season 9, the producers already had a strategy in place for his character, Rick Grimes, and an expanded Walking Dead universe.
According to Comicbook.com, one of the things that Lincoln’s exit brought on was the idea for its newest spinoff, The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
The new show’s origins came from the storyline involving Rick’s exit, when a black helicopter bearing a mysterious logo (three intertwined circles), whisked away a presumed dead Sheriff Grimes.
“A big part of it came from the mythology that I was speculatively putting together back in season six and seven of The Walking Dead,” Scott Gimple, onetime showrunner for the mothership show, told The Hollywood Reporter. “That started coming into my mind because it was the possibility of Andy Lincoln going away [from the main series], which was very much in my head.”
The symbol originally was associated with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), the then-leader of the junkyard dwelling Scavengers, but since Rick’s memorable departure scene aired, that same logo has also appeared on Fear the Walking Dead as the CRM conspiracy extended into its fifth season.
What it is and who it belongs to has been explained in the early episodes of World Beyond. We learned that the helicopter was piloted by the Civic Republic Military, black-wearing CRM soldiers, who will play a big part in Rick’s eventual return to the upcoming Walking Dead feature films. This is now the connective tissue linking the entire Walking Dead Universe.
Gimple explained the Three Circles mythology became more and more important as he helped to develop the larger mythology.“It became apparent that, even with the way that Rick Grimes is tied up in all of it, there was another avenue to explore,” he said. “There’s actually a few other avenues to explore. And as the ideas of the characters were coming together for World Beyond, it seemed very interesting to marry them. But the characters from World Beyond were coming first and the general situation that they were in, but the general situation they were in really did seem in line with some aspects of the Three Circles mythology.”
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