It’s been a long time since 2010, when The Walking Dead first aired - a good eight years, in fact. How time flies when you’re being chased by zombies, eh? Well, it seems that Andrew Lincoln, who plays the main man Sheriff Rick Grimes, has become a noted casualty of the passage of time, as he’s set to be ‘phased out’ next season.
Supposedly he’ll feature in about six episodes of season nine, and then it’s curtains. But in what way? WHAT TYPE OF CURTAIN? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it’ll be similar to the way that Lauren Cohan left the show.
Lincoln said back in February:
“There are lots of unanswered questions, and we owe a debt to all of the viewers to answer a few of those.
“So, yes, once they’re answered, there is an endgame. I’ve said it before. There’s certainly an endgame in my head.
“Whether or not that’s the same endgame that’s in the producers’ heads or the people I work with, is another matter. That’s open for discussion.”
Former showrunner Scott M. Gimple has also talked about a change in direction the show will be taking after season eight:
“We knew for a long time that season [eight] was, in many ways, the end of a chapter of the show. The differences that people will be seeing in season nine and beyond are going to be pronounced. It’s going to be a very different show with characters handling very different issues, challenges and threats than we’ve seen before. These characters will be different in a lot of ways.”
As such, it looks like Norman Reedus as Daryl will be taking over the top role on the show, after reports that he is negotiating a deal with producers for $20 million surfaced.
The departure of Lincoln is a major shock for the show; his character Rick is still the focal point of creator Robert Kirkman’s comic series on which the AMC drama is based.
Either way, you better believe this show is going to shuffle on forever and ever until the sun sets fire to the earth. Is this show the televisual equivalent of an actual zombie? Yes, it is. Look, its eyeball is hanging out and everything. Gross.