With Andrew Lincoln having planned an exit from The Walking Dead for years, former showrunner and current chief content officer Scott Gimple admits there have been plans in place for Rick Grimes' departure.
During a panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, Gimple opened up about Lincoln's departure to a packed crowd, with the actor sitting only a few seats down from him. "It was a possibility that we talked about," Gimple said. "There were things that you build things into the story, maybe it'll go this direction, maybe it'll go that direction," "Things started moving in that way and we followed the story threads that were laid out. We were able to fulfill it this season. There was a plan. There were little turns here and there but it generally stayed with the plan."
How those seeds were planted in earlier seasons will likely be revealed fairly quickly, as Lincoln will exit before the first half of the AMC show's ninth season wraps up. It was a challenge new showrunner Angela Kang had to face in her first year. "We really kind of ran with it in the writer's room, just really trying to thin about what has Rick's journey meant to him on the show," Kang said. As for being showrunner, she says it's a lot of responsibility. "I get to grow as somebody in this career. That's been really exciting."
The details of whether or not Rick will die, leave solo, or exit in some other way remain a mystery. However, it seems there will be a bloody Rick Grimes on his way out.
"My last day was amazing," Lincoln said. "On the way to it being a very moving farewell, I pulled down the set on top of the 'A' cameraman...I was inspired. I thought, 'This is a really good idea, I'm going with something!...It was Norman's fault...and he started slapping me in the face and I started tearing down the set on Deke and I knocked him out. I shouldn't have ripped down the set and Norman shouldn't have been slapping me!"
Reedus, however, revealed the scarier details: "The last day that he was in there, he was covered in blood, and I still won't let him clean the chair."
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!