Andrew Lincoln to leave 'The Walking Dead' in season 9

Deanna Kelley
May 30, 2018

Lincoln's upcoming exit will mark the second time an original cast member from "The Walking Dead" departs the show in as many years.

The outlet also notes that they've heard AMC has "offered substantial compensation" to Norman Reedus, who plays fan favorite Daryl Dixon, to stay on board and possibly take over as the lead if Lincoln does exit the series.

It's not known what fate will befall Lincoln's character, whether he'll be killed off in customarily gruesome fashion, or head off into the distance. AMC declined to comment.

Whatever the case, the show is in need of a shake-up. Earlier this year, The Walking Dead went away from its comic book source material, killing off Rick's one-eyed son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), after he was bitten by a walker. Reedus has also been with the series since the first season. And with other main cast members including Danai Gurira looking at the end of their current contracts at the end of season 9 if the show does continue past season 9 it will be looking at nearly a complete reboot.

"The Walking Dead" wrapped its eighth season in April. Cohan's contract negotiations with AMC stalled, leading her instead to sign on to the new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier.

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In Robert Kirkman's sprawling Image Comics series, Rick and Carl Grimes both are still very much alive, and still central players in the ongoing story.

The immediate outcome is that Norman Reedus's Daryl Dixon will nearly certainly step into Rick's still-warm cowboy boots as the show's primary focus, a theory backed up by reports that the actor is in negotiations for a $20m pay packet.

For his part, Lincoln lives with his family in London and returns to the show's Atlanta set for production. There is no word of how the character is going to leave, but no matter what, it's going to make a huge impact on the series.

The news of the actor's exit was first reported by Collider.

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