“The Walking Dead” fans are well accustomed to saying goodbye to fan favorite characters, but they better start preparing to say an ultimate farewell next season. Collider reports series star Andrew Lincoln is set to exit AMC’s long-running zombie drama series in Season 9. The actor has played protagonist Rick Grimes since the pilot episode and is reported to only be appearing in six Season 9 episodes. Plot details on Grimes’ exit are under wraps.
According to Collider, “The Walking Dead” will replace Lincoln/Grimes by moving Norman Reedus’ popular character Daryl Dixon into the main role. Reedus has also been with the series since the first season. A source close to production also confirmed Lincoln’s upcoming exit with ComicBook.com and The Wrap. AMC declined to make a statement when asked for further comment by IndieWire.
Lincoln’s upcoming exit will mark the second time an original cast member from “The Walking Dead” departs the show in as many years. Chandler Riggs, who played Grimes’ son Carl starting in the first season, departed the show last season after his character was killed off. Carl’s death outraged some fans since the character is still alive in the comic books on which the series is based. Grimes is also alive in the comic books.
“The Walking Dead” wrapped its eighth season in April. Main cast members Lincoln, Reedus, Lauren Cohan, and Danai Gurira are set to return for the ninth season, which is now in production.