Lincoln spoke to members of the press during a conference at San Diego Comic Con, where he fielded many questions about his exit from the zombie drama after nine years as Rick Grimes. As it turns out, Lincoln is hoping to see Rick depart from Alexandria as a survivor, rather than another lifeless (possibly still walking) body.
"Lennie James is a perfect example of leaving without dying and doing rather well on it, so there is that way,’ Lincoln said, referencing his former co-star Lennie James who head off to Fear the Walking Dead as Morgan Jones. "And then there is obviously the other way, which we’ve done quite a lot...Obviously I’m not going to tell you which way [Rick leaves] I mean, I’d prefer the Lennie James of it all. But I think what we have in store this season is truly remarkable, and I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done."
Very few characters have ever left The Walking Dead with their heart beating, especially characters who have earned some major time in the spotlight. Lincoln did, however, justify his reason for exiting the AMC series with good reason.
"Well, nine years I was thinking about it because that's where we live," Lincoln said. "I suppose it was a lot to do with a conversation Scott [Gimple] and I had a few years ago, maybe in season four about the shape and finding some way to complete something that was never going to be completed."
Lincoln previously expressed a feeling of completion when describing the Season Eight finale, which saw his character resolve most of the show's loose ends in the aftermath of Carl's death. However, he knew the show must go on from there.
"And then not, obviously, disturbing the mothership," Lincoln said. "There was a sort of sense that the story has been a man waking up and you experience this world through this one man's eyes and it opens up into the extended family. Now, what's exciting, I think for me, is the fact that the narrative is being freed up. And it's already been freed up from the beginning of this season. You'll see the trailer. It's a different tone. It feels like the show that I always felt we would head toward when we wrapped the pilot. And so yeah, even sure it was something that I started to think about as my children got older and less portable."
Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its fourth season on August 12th at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on October 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!