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AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD has become a major staple in television. It seems like the story will never end. As it turns out, two major names will be leaving the roles that made them famous in the near future.
Andrew Lincoln has starred as former Sheriff Rick Grimes since the show’s first episode in 2010. He will reportedly only feature in half a dozen episodes in season 9 before being “phased out”.
There are currently no exact details about how Lincoln will exit the show but THR reports that it will be similar to co-star Lauren Cohan’s departure. Cohen was reportedly trying to negotiate a new deal with showrunners but that did not happen.
Back in February Lincoln hinted at his exit, stating, “there’s certainly an endgame in my head. Whether or not that’s the same endgame that’s in the producers’ heads or the people I work with, is another matter. That’s open for discussion.”
Speaking of the season eight finale, former showrunner Scott M. Gimple said, “We knew for a long time that season [eight] was, in many ways, the end of a chapter of the show. The differences that people will be seeing in season nine and beyond are going to be pronounced. It’s going to be a very different show with characters handling very different issues, challenges and threats than we’ve seen before. These characters will be different in a lot of ways.”
Meanwhile, Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon is reportedly negotiating a new deal in light of Lincoln’s departure. He will become the top guy on the show and will be making $20 million for his efforts.