All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that is indeed the case when it comes Andrew Lincoln’s run as protagonist Rick Grimes in AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead. The beloved actor confirmed the news at this year’s San Diego Comic Con which has been rumored for months.
While fighting back the tears, Lincoln delivered the blow to Walking Dead fans packed in Hall H for the panel telling them “This will be my last season playing the role of Rick Grimes.”He added “I love this show,” and declaring “It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show.” He rounded up his announcement to the crowd by adding: “I don’t want this to become an Oscar acceptance speech or an obituary. My relationship with Mr. Rick Grimes is far from over.”
Lincoln continued to express how amazing the role has been to him personally and professionally while thanking his fellow castmates. He didn’t announce any future plans as far as what he plans to do after The Walking Dead, but he is looking forward to spending time with his family back home in the UK. He did try to leave TWD with a silver lining telling them the show still has a long way to go and that “no one is bigger than the story.” The news is so sad even Missy Elliott reacted.
With the sad news, fans may have sustained a blow to the skull comparable to the ones the walkers routinely get in the show, but they got a decent parting gift in the form of an action-packed trailer for the upcoming ninth season. From what we can tell, season nine takes place sometime after the events of last season’s showdown with Negan. Everyone seems to be living in harmony, Negan is still alive but locked up in cell and gets visits from a much older looking Rick who supplies with him updates. Negan, of course, despite his situation is still as cocky as ever and warns Rick everything will eventually “go to sh*t.”
The peaceful situation that Rick and the other communities have established is tested when tension rises between members of the group. Maggie is growing frustrated with Rick, Darryl doesn’t trust the peace and misses when the group just consisted of just the core members, and Carol doesn’t like the newcomers at all. All things point to epic in-fighting being the downfall of the post-apocalyptic safe haven, and when you throw in a massive hoard of walkers, you got yourself a full-blown problem. We didn’t get no hint of how Grimes would be making his exit but we will cross that bridge when we get there.
Check out the intense Comic-Con trailer for season nine of The Walking Dead below.
Photo: Jesse Grant / Getty