Well, it’s confirmed. Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead. Season nine will be Rick Grimes final season for AMC’s hit show. Lincoln addressed the rumors at San Diego Comic Con on Friday during The Walking Dead panel.
The news was first announced back in May, but AMC and Lincoln did not comment. TWD creator Robert Kirkman addressed the rumor earlier in the week, saying it looks likely that Lincoln is leaving. Lincoln was asked to address the rumors in an interview prior to the panel but refused to answer. He said he wanted to address the fans first out of respect. He didn’t waste any time once the cast joined the panel.
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show. You people. This has been the most extraordinary, amazing, and beautiful experience of my career. Made largely because of you guys and the relationship we have with you. I just want to thank you.”
Lincoln went on to praised new showrunner Angela Kang, saying she is astonishing and leads with class. He is deeply proud of the work they have done in season nine. He did not say when or how Rick would leave the show. Judging by his nice haircut and shave, it appears that Rick may already be gone.
Needless to say the fans were sad to hear the news, but Lincoln did his best to lighten the mood. Even when he worried that he might be talking too much on the subject, the crowd assured him that he wasn’t.
Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still hard to hear. I have been a huge fan of Andrew Lincoln since Love Actually. And I will continue to be a fan no matter where he goes and what he does. It is going to be a completely different show without Rick Grimes. But it also opens the door for new narratives for the remaining cast. Good luck, Andy Lincoln.
Season nine is currently in production. The Walking Dead returns October 7 on AMC.