Today during The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Andrew Lincoln finally addressed the giant zombie elephant in the room … his exit from the show.
Speaking to the crowd in attendance, Lincoln (who reportedly wants to spend more time with his family after traveling repeatedly for the past eight years), made it clear that this was a difficult departure thanks mostly to his affection for the show and its fans. Here are just some of his comments via TVLine:
“This will be my last season, playing the part of Rick Grimes. love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I promise not to cry — I’ve done enough crying on screen … I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show, you people. This has been the most extraordinary, beautiful experience of my life … So I just want to thank you.
“[My] relationship with Mr. Grimes is far from over. And a large part of me will always be a machete-wielding, sheriff’s deputy from London, England. What a thing. I’m really, really excited about this season. … This has always been an ensemble, and it will continue to be an ensemble. No one is bigger than the story.”
Meanwhile, executive producer and comic creator Robert Kirkman confirmed that the team has something “special” planned on the way out for the actor, something that they already seem to be hyping up in a way that is different than we’ve seen in the past. While of course nobody is going to say for sure if Rick is going to be killed off, that’s on the table — but so is him walking off into the sunset and existing somewhere else in the world. It’s hard to imagine The Walking Dead without Rick grimes, especially considering his role in the comics. Yet, this is different than the comics in that you have real people to think about with families and careers. Lincoln often traveled back and forth between Atlanta and the UK and it makes sense that eventually, he’d want a bit more of a sedentary life.
If you want to see more in terms of what’s coming next season, check out the full trailer below!
What do you think about Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead right now, and how much will you miss him? Share in the comments!
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