Readers of The Walking Dead comic book series know the "A New Beginning" storyline is likely going to take place during the ninth season of the AMC TV series adaptation, where we could see new characters, new enemies, and major changes to existing characters. It looks like one of those changes will involve Rick Grimes himself, as it's being reported that season 9 of The Walking Dead will be the last one for Andrew Lincoln.
In an exclusive report by Collider (that was confirmed by US Weekly), it was revealed that Lincoln is expected to leave The Walking Dead after its ninth season. Lincoln will reportedly only appear in six episodes of the upcoming season (The Walking Dead has had 16-episode seasons since its third season, although the episode count for the ninth season has yet to be announced).
Following her contract negotiations, Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on the series, is also expected to only appear in six episodes, as she'll be starring in the new ABC series Whiskey Cavlier. Collider and US Weekly also note that Norman Reedus will continue to appear on The Walking Dead, with a reported $20 million dollar contact to continue to play Daryl Dixon.
What will The Walking Dead look like without Rick Grimes? We'll have to wait and find out. While readers of the comic book series were expecting big changes on the TV series following the events of "All Out War", a Walking Dead world without Rick Grimes in it is an unprecedented shift.
Filming on The Walking Dead Season 9 is currently underway, with the series likely returning with new episodes in October. Until then, stay tuned to Daily Dead for more updates, and let us know your thoughts on Lincoln's departure.