The big news surrounding the ninth season of The Walking Dead has nothing to do with zombies or even Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan. Instead, the long-running AMC survival drama is losing its main star, as Andrew Lincoln has confirmed that he will be exiting his role as Rick Grimes sometime during the upcoming season.
While the specifics of Lincoln’s departure are being kept under wraps, the void he will leave is most likely to be filled by Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon, who is widely expected to become the star of the ensemble series moving forward. That doesn’t mean Reedus is keen on moving forward without Lincoln by his side though.
“I was depressed,” Reedus admitted to The Hollywood Reporter during a press event at the show’s Atlanta set, referencing the moment he found out about Lincoln’s plan to leave. “We always had a pact that we weren’t going to leave the show without each other. ‘If you want to leave? Tell me.’ We were going to stay with it. So I knew [about Lincoln’s decision] before AMC knew. I knew before anyone knew. I tried to talk him out of it a thousand times. But I get it. He has two little kids outside of London. I have a little boy in New York, and I spend a lot of time [bouncing around between home and set], and I get it. At that age, you need to be able to be there. You can’t fault him.”