Andrew Lincoln Leaving ‘The Walking Dead’ During Season 9

The Walking Dead will undergo a major change during season 9 as lead star Andrew Lincoln is poised to leave the series after only a handful of episodes…

Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead.

Lincoln, who portrays former sheriff turned survivor Rick Grimes, is expected to appear in only a handful of episodes during The Walking Dead season 9 before exiting the popular AMC series.

News of Lincoln’s exit was first reported by Collider with several reports backing up the story with The Walking Dead losing its main protagonist as filming for season 9 just recently got underway.

As of now there’s no clear reason why Lincoln decided now is the time to leave The Walking Dead but he’s only expected to appear in approximately six episodes for season 9 before exiting the show. Co-star Norman Reedus is currently negotiating a new deal that will reportedly pay him around $20 million per season to become the new face of the series.

This is the second major shake up for The Walking Dead ahead of season 9 with Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Rhee on the series, also cutting back her role after being unable to come to an agreement on a new contract with AMC after season 8. While Cohan will return in a limited fashion, she also booked a starring role in a new ABC series called Whiskey Cavalier that was picked up to series just a few weeks ago.

With Lincoln now set to exit the series, questions about the future of The Walking Dead will undoubtedly begin surfacing as season 9 draws closer to debuting later this year.

In Robert Kirkman’s source material, Rick Grimes has always remained the central character with his son Carl as another major part of almost every storyline that’s taken place throughout the comic book series. The Walking Dead television series opted to kill Carl last season and now it appears Rick Grimes will be following him during season 9.

The Walking Dead has remained one of the most popular shows on all of television despite lower ratings during season 8. With Lincoln set to exit during season 9 and Cohan in a reduced role, one has to wonder of the days of The Walking Dead are numbered.

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