We are in fear for The Walking Dead, and it has nothing to do with zombies…
Andrew Lincoln—a.k.a. Rick Grimes—has been at the center of AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead since its first episode aired back in 2010. However, numerous reports are now saying that Lincoln will battle his way through just a few more episodes—then he’s out.
Collider reports Lincoln will be gone by the end of season 9, which premieres later this year, and that he’ll be appearing in about six episodes of the season. In the eponymous comics, however, Rick Grimes remains the main character, so expect a serious deviation from the story on which the show is based on once Lincoln does make his exit.
With Lincoln’s shock departure—how’s its going to happen is still unknown—, Norman Reedus, who plays fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, is poised to take on an even larger role and an equally larger check.
According to US Weekly, Reedus is in the midst of negotiation a new deal that will pay him a “substantial compensation” of over $20 million to stay on the show.
In addition to Lincoln, there have also been murmurings that Lauren Cohan, who has played Maggie since season 2, will leave this season as well. While it was confirmed she’d be back for season 9, she’ll supposedly appear in a reduced number of episodes as well, as she will also be filming the ABC’s drama Whiskey Cavalier.
With Rick and Maggie out the zombie picture, will the audiences really stick around?