Season Nine of The Walking Dead will be the last for Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln.
It is being reported that Lincoln will be exiting the AMC series in its ninth season, currently in production, which ComicBook.com can confirm from multiple independent sources. ComicBook.com can exclusively report that AMC is expected to announce officially Lincoln's exit from the zombie drama ahead of his final episodes.
Furthermore, several other cast members are in their final contracted years, though their fate with the AMC series is up in the air. Among them is Black Panther breakout Danai Gurira, who has played Michonne since the show's third season. Lauren Cohan is also expected to exit the AMC series as her current contract for Season Nine only brings her back for six total episodes.
How Lincoln exits the series in unknown but it is expected to be gone before Season Nine's finale. The actor, however, has spent years dedicating the majority of his life to a Georgia production and will be returning to his U.K. home to spend more time with his family.
Following Season Eight, only a small handful of cast members who joined in Season Three or earlier have remained an active part of the series.
"There's only me left in the top 10 [of the call sheet,]" Lincoln told ComicBook.com ahead of the Season Eight finale. "Norman [Reedus] and Melissa [McBride] and Danai [Gurira] and [Lauren Cohan], they're all in the twenties...This job is, as I said before, glorious and unique. I wouldn't trade it for the world. The stinger is the fact that I seem to be the guy left on the pier waving people away. That's powerful."
Though Lincoln has expressed his excitement over the new showrunner heading into Season Nine, with Angela Kang taking on the position, he also has told ComicBook.com that he is ready to see an endpoint for his character which could be justified for the series.
"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."
AMC does not currently have plans to end The Walking Dead in Season Nine. The network declined ComicBook.com's request for comment.29comments
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.