Fans of The Walking Dead seem to believe Andrew Lincoln has already permanently wrapped his work on the AMC zombie show.
With Season Nine of The Walking Dead set to be Lincoln's last since playing its main protagonist of Rick Grimes in the 2010 pilot episode, the British actor appears to have arrived at home in the United Kingdom. Lincoln was photographed by a fan at London's Heathrow airport earlier this week, as the AMC show has only just begun work on its sixth episode of Season Nine.
Check out a tweet with the photo below, crediting Sarah Michelle Food:
Andy arriving today at Heathrow Airport in London, UK. #AndrewLincoln
📷 Sarah Michelle Food pic.twitter.com/RNL1MR8Jj8— Rick Grimes | Andrew Lincoln (@TWDRickGrimes__) July 3, 2018
Lincoln's number of episodes for Season Nine is unclear but if this is indeed a sign of his wrapping The Walking Dead, Rick would likely be making his exit -- dead or alive -- in Episode 9x05. More details will likely emerge at San Diego Comic-Con later this month.
Of course, it is possible the AMC show is shooting single character-centric bottle episodes or other story lines which have Lincoln absent from the call sheet for a week or two. This would allow him to head home to see his family before returning to production after a short break but with the actor leaving the series this season, the quick assumption is that he is finished.
“I’ve always said, I don’t care how it goes, but maybe a kid should take me out,” Lincoln said in 2014 while talking to EW. “It’s funny, because I was in the car yesterday, and I texted Scott Gimple and I said, ‘Promise me, when I die, on the credits sequence, you play Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt.’ And he just said, ‘I can’t make that promise obviously.’ So when I die, please print it in your magazine so that the fans will know to play it, even if we can’t. Even if Scott Gimple decides not to, please everybody play Hurt.”
Lincoln wants the show to have a proper sense of awareness and conclusion which he revealed in a more recent an interview with ComicBook.com, as he approaches pouring nearly a decade of his life into it through more than 115 episodes. "There's part of me that really wants to complete something," Lincoln said. "How long that takes? I don't know but certainly I really think the fans and my character deserves an end point as some time in the future."
If the Season Eight finale were to have been that end point, Lincoln might have walked away content. After all, it did feel like a series finale to many, with almost all of the narrative threads and character stories being wrapped up nicely.8comments
"I think that when we got the news that Carl was dying on the show, it certainly for me, it felt like very much a bookend of a much bigger journey that began in the hospital," Lincoln said. "Searching for his wife and his son were the two engines that kept this man alive at the beginning of the show eight years. To lose the second engine that fueled him, at this point, certainly did feel, to me personally, not just the end of a chapter but a book, really."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC, returning for the second half of its fourth season on August 12th. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.