It’s the end of an era for The Walking Dead. Actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays main character Rick Grimes on the hit zombie series, is officially leaving the show. Although AMC has yet to comment on the shocking news, multiple sources are confirming that Season 9 will be Lincoln’s last.
According to Us Weekly Magazine, Andrew Lincoln is ready to move on from The Walking Dead. The actor is said to be saying his final goodbye as Rick Grimes in the upcoming ninth season of the show and will appear in only six episodes throughout the season.
Sources tell the outlet that Lincoln has decided to leave the series because he’s had “enough” of it, and wants to focus his energy on making movies. In addition, it seems that The Walking Dead will go on with Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl Dixon, in the driver’s seat.
Insiders tell the magazine that AMC has negotiated a $20 million payday for the actor to stay on the show, which has lost nearly all of its fan-favorite character over the course of the past two seasons.
Characters such as Glenn, Tyreese, Noah, Beth, Hershel, and more have been killed off the show, as ratings began to decline. The emergence of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, Negan, gave The Walking Dead a boost, but it has since fallen again. In addition, fans were completely stunned when the series decided to kill off the beloved character of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), as it was always the thought that Carl would be endgame when and if Rick was ever killed off the show.
The Walking Dead has taken a lot of criticism over the past few years for not sticking to the comic book storyline. Although the AMC series often changed up bits and pieces of the source material in its earlier days, the stories followed the same path as the comic. However, the show has completely gone off the rails as far as the comic book is concerned, and many viewers have spoken out about all the risks the series has been taking, that may not be panning out.
Comic Book reports that nothing is known about how Andrew Lincoln will exit The Walking Dead, but that he is expected to be gone before the Season 9 finale. In addition, AMC is expected to make the announcement ahead of Lincoln’s last episodes.
The Walking Dead is set to return to AMC in October.