The Walking Dead will reportedly lose its lead actor next season.
According to Collider, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, will exit the show by the end of Season 9. The actor is said to have a reduced role in the new season and will only appear in six episodes. Deadline is also reporting the same thing.
Additionally, the AMC series could see the exit of another big star next season. While Lauren Cohan will indeed reprise her as Maggie following months-long contract negotiations, she will only appear in the first eight episodes of Season 9. The reason for Cohan’s reduced role is reportedly due to her starring in ABC’s midseason drama Whiskey Cavalier, but it’s questionable at this point whether she will return to The Walking Dead in Season 10.
While the loss (or at least reduced roles) of two of The Walking Dead’s biggest stars represents a big blow, fans can find solace in the fact that Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to US Weekly, Reedus recently secured a $20 million deal to remain on the show and Collider reports that Daryl will become the show’s new lead.
The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres this October on AMC.