Long-time fans of The Walking Dead will struggle to remember a time when Andrew Lincoln wasn’t part of their life.
The British actor has played Rick Grimes on the show since its first season in 2010, but earlier this year we heard rumblings that his involvement might be coming to an end.
Season nine of The Walking Dead is due to air in October, and – following rumours of Grimes being ‘phased out’ as a character – the show’s creator has spoken.
If you were hoping to see more of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes for years to come, it’s bad news.
When asked during an interview with Kevin Smith whether Lincoln was on his way out, show creator Robert Kirkman admitted “it looks that way”.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about Andrew Lincoln. This is a human being. This is someone I have known for almost a decade, somebody that I love. He’s been sweating in Georgia, away from his family, for so long.”
Lincoln racked up a number of film roles before taking on the part of Grimes, perhaps most notably playing Mark in Love Actually, but his last big screen role – Made in Dagenham – came the same year as his first The Walking Dead episodes aired.
Lincoln, who was born in London, has won multiple awards for his portrayal of Grimes, earning several further nominations for the part.
The news comes after Scott Gimple, showrunner for seasons four to eight, confirmed the forthcoming ninth season will see the show effectively hit the reset button.
A new showrunner Angela King, has come on board for season nine, and has confirmed a significant change which many will not have anticipated.
It’s safe to say the changes in store will at least theoretically allow The Walking Dead move away from its departing star.
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