Andrew Lincoln Details How His ‘Walking Dead’ Departure Was Planned Seasons Ago

     September 27, 2018

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The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln‘s impending departure from the series is surely heartbreaking to most fans, but the actor has now revealed it could have happened even earlier in the series’ run. Speaking with EW, Lincoln explained how initially he was supposed to leave in Season 8, although his departure had been planned for since Season 4:

“I had a conversation during Season 4 with [executive producer] Scott Gimple about this. You know, we shared young families and there was a lot of synchronicity between the two of us that were two heads of a show that seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. We spoke about it and said, ‘There’s got to be a shape. We need a shape to work out if we get to Season 5 then maybe we’ve got a couple more.’ There were all these ifs and buts and strategies. And I said, eight sounds like a good number.’ Eight seasons was certainly something. Last season was a shape that I had in my head and it was certainly something that Scott was possibly thinking about as well that was a completion of a certain chapter which could be called Rick’s falling.”

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Image via AMC

But Lincoln found it hard to say goodbye to the franchise that became his home, saying that, “I realized that rather than have the funeral, I had to prepare for the funeral and I had to make sure everybody was comfortable with the funeral arrangements. And I don’t think I was ready for the funeral! You know what I mean? I was like, I don’t think I’m ready to go yet!”

Lincoln continued by saying that he decided at Comic Con that Season 8 would not be his last, because he felt overwhelmed at the idea of leaving all of his friends from the show behind. But as we recently learned, though Rick may be gone soon, Lincoln will not soon be forgotten or far from The Walking Dead, as he will likely return to direct in Season 10.“I have to do it,” he said. “I have to come home. There was a certain sense that I’ve been without a home for this time. And I think it is right.”

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