New 'The Walking Dead' Showrunner Promises Great Story For Rick Grimes

The upcoming season of The Walking Dead will be Andrew Lincoln's last, making fans wonder how the series will handle the departure of its central figure. While showrunner Angela Kang didn't serve up explicit details about the new season, she teased that the iconic character would get a deserving send off.

"That's stuff that I obviously don't want to spoil for fans, but I think what I can tell you is that we've got a great story for Rick," Kang shared with Deadline. "He is in a place where he made this unexpected decision at the end of last season to let Negan live, and we'll now see what is the next phase of things for him. He's actively thinking about what needs to be done to build for the future."

She added, "Of course, these things are not an easy road. If you think of anybody who's had to build something momentous for a society that there's a lot of hard work, there's conflict around it, so we really see his leadership put to the test."

Lincoln has been a main character on the series since the very first episode, though both the TV show and comic book have proven that no character, no matter how beloved, is safe. Fans don't typically know ahead of time that a character might be leaving the series, leading many of us to wonder how Lincoln's Rick Grimes will say goodbye.

The TV series often draws influences from the comic series, though the departure of Rick will mark yet another deviation from the source material.

"Well it does make the differences between the comic and the show a little bit more... pronounced," creator Robert Kirkman shared with IMDb. "But at the end of the day it's all about Andrew Lincoln: I mean this is a human being, this is someone I've known for almost a decade, this is somebody that I love. He's been sweatin' in Georgia away from his family for so long."

Kirkman also played coy about what fans could expect from Lincoln's final season, but promised it would be fitting for the character.

The creator detailed, "He cares about the fans; he cares about the show deeply; he wants to do something special on the way out; we got something amazing planned; I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but anybody who's been a fan of his journey, who loves Rick Grimes, who loves the world of The Walking Dead: You're going to want to see what we do."

No release date for Season Nine has been confirmed, but it will likely debut this October.

How do you think Lincoln will lease The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments below!

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[H/T Deadline]