Multiple reports have surfaced stating that Andrew Lincoln is leaving AMC's Walking Dead after season 9. Collider reported the news on Tuesday, adding that he'd only be in six episodes of the upcoming season. They added on that they would not share how, exactly, Rick Grimes will exit the show.
The outlet also spoke about how Lincoln's departure is bound to affect ratings. "... we’ll likely see an even bigger fan fallout when Lincoln leaves in Season 9." And who will replace him as the leading role? Collider reports that series star Norman Reedus will stay on board and take over as the series' star. The Hollywood Reporter dishes that Reedus is in the middle of a $20 million negotiation with AMC for the spot.
As this news sinks in, the question on everyone's mind is: how will Lincoln be written off the show? The Hollywood Reporter writes, "Sources say Lincoln will be phased out in season nine in a fashion similar to co-star Lauren Cohan, who will film only six episodes of the series."
Fans of the series have flocked to Twitter to voice their feelings about the actor's departure. Most, unsurprisingly, are shocked and heartbroken:
I’ve always felt that Andrew Lincoln was the anchor to The Walking Dead (as well as the comic, obviously). The bigger question now is if the show can survive his exit.— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) May 29, 2018
andrew lincoln/rick grimes is the most important person on the walking dead.. idc what you say, there’s no show without him.— ana (@smvkeandmirrors) May 29, 2018