Andrew Lincoln expected to quit Walking Dead after eight seasons

Joann Johnston
May 31, 2018

Nearly unbelievable on a show where nearly no one is said to be safe, the man who has played Rick Grimes since the very beginning of the series based on Robert Kirkman's comics could be gone by the end of the upcoming ninth season, I hear.

The report suggests that AMC is to offer "substantial compensation" to Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, to stay on and become the series lead.

Lincoln, who plays survivor leader Rick Grimes, will reportedly only appear in six episodes of Season 9.

After the departure of Chandler Riggs (Carl "CORALL" Grimes) last season, Lincoln's Rick is one of the last Season 1 characters still on the show.

Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead.

The immediate outcome is that Norman Reedus's Daryl Dixon will nearly certainly step into Rick's still-warm cowboy boots as the show's primary focus, a theory backed up by reports that the actor is in negotiations for a $20m pay packet. "That's open for discussion".

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Much like its zombies who never seem to die, AMC's The Walking Dead has continued to drag along, but now, with one fewer leading man.

Additionally, Lincoln's on-screen son, Chandler Rigg's Carl, was killed off the show late previous year. Reedus and Lincoln closed new deals at the time to return for season nine, with the former now looking to cash in given Lincoln's pending departure.

Outgoing Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter in April that season nine and beyond will be a different chapter in the show's history.

Like Lincoln, both had been with the show since its first season.

After the season 8 finale, Lincoln said: "I can't wait to see this next episode". AMC declined to comment to ET. In fact, the majority of the original cast is no longer on the show; Rick has undoubtedly carried it, so it's up in the air where TWD will go without its figurehead.

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