Andrew Lincoln is confident in The Walking Dead's ability to thrive in his absence.
The Rick Grimes actor is primed for an exit in the November 4 episode, which was revealed by AMC following Sunday night's hour. He firmly believes his co-stars will be able to carry the series without him for several reason.
“There’s something beautiful in the original DNA of the show in that it is all about change,” Lincoln told EW. “The show will live on and it will continue to be great. We knew it was happening when Lennie [James] left for the other show and it was brilliant." As the fans experienced, James' Morgan Jones was announced to be leaving the flagship zombie series for a crossover with Fear the Walking Dead, with the details being kept confidential until after The Walking Dead's Season Eight finale. Lincoln's exit from the Rick Grimes role is going down in similar fashion.
While Lincoln and his Rick Grimes won't be around moving forward, he does have a solid bit a of detail about what's to come, saying he "got to taste a bit of it.”
Of course, Lincoln's departure is hardly the only change happening to The Walking Dead in its ninth season. Ahead of its production, Scott Gimple was shifted to a chief content officer role with Angela Kang stepping into his showrunner job. "It’s exciting because there is a sense that there is a new vision for the show. I think Angela and everybody involved in it are performing out of their socks. To the best of their ability they’re putting it all out there. It’s a really exciting landscape that all of the characters are inhabiting. It’s the show I always thought we’d get to when I did the pilot — a pared down, much more dangerous and compromising and spare landscape.”0comments
The exit doesn't come without heavy thought and reason. "What I don’t want to do is stay too long when I think the show will actually benefit from other people taking the reins and forging a new path,” Lincoln said. “And that’s what I think is happening now. It’s beautiful watching and seeing my dear friends who are incredible actors doing extraordinary things and turning it into a new show. And that is enormously gratifying.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.