The Walking Dead Final Season: Norman Reedus Teases Andrew Lincoln About Rick Grimes Return

Norman Reedus has asked Andrew Lincoln to return to The Walking Dead for its eleventh and final season, but the Rick Grimes actor "won't say anything" about a potential comeback. Lincoln exited the mothership show after more than eight seasons in 2018, leaving by way of Civic Republic Military helicopter alongside Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), and will reprise his role in a planned trilogy of feature films. But Reedus, who took over as Walking Dead leading man, admits to teasing Lincoln about his wished-for involvement in the 24-episode final season that will close out the zombie drama by the end of 2022.

"You know, I was teasing him the other day on the phone. I was like, 'You're coming back for this last season, right?'" Reedus told and other press. "He's like, 'Uh...' you know, he won't say anything. He won't commit. But it's very Andrew Lincoln to try to pull a fast one on me. So I don't know. I have no idea. I literally don't know. I wish I knew."

The Daryl Dixon actor added, "I have a big mouth, so they probably wouldn't tell me!"

Rick's return is in the works from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and franchise chief content officer Scott Gimple, who are scripting the untitled feature film still on track for theatrical release. Gimple previously declared that Lincoln, who stepped away from the demanding schedule of the television show to spend more time with his family overseas, has left The Walking Dead "for good."

But that was in 2018 and before AMC announced there are just 30 episodes left of The Walking Dead until its series finale. Executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang, for her part, said last year the door is "always open" for Lincoln to come back to the TV show.

"Not this season, but man, I would love it if he did," Kang told Deadline in November, in response to a question about Rick's return in Season 10. "You know we were talking about having him direct something for a while, but then he wanted to focus on some acting stuff, and he didn't want to drop out on us at the last minute if something came along, and you know he's been doing a movie [Penguin Bloom] lately."

Lincoln previously returned to the Walking Dead set to shadow a director, with the plan being to step behind the camera for a tenth season episode. The actor was unable to meet that commitment and did not direct on The Walking Dead Season 10.

"The door is always open," Kang said. "Andy, you can come back any time."


AMC has not set a release date for Lincoln's Rick Grimes movie.

Reedus is now back to work on the six new episodes that will extend Season 10 into early 2021, and the actor will lead The Walking Dead's final season before reprising his role in an untitled Daryl/Carol spinoff opposite Melissa McBride. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.