Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead, has just announced that he’s leaving the show at the end of Season 9. (The show just concluded Season 8, so that means he only has one season left on the series.) At this point in time, there has been no indication that the show itself will end with Rick’s departure. In fact, AMC already is planning a new lead to take Rick’s place. Considering how far the show has already veered from the comics with Carl’s death, the show has certainly been willing to depart from established storylines before and will continue to attempt to do so. But can the show survive without Rick? After you read our story, take the poll below and let us know if you think the show can survive Rick’s departure.
Collider reported today Lincoln is leaving during Season 9, and Rick will likely only be in about six episodes in the new season. This will be the biggest departure from The Walking Dead yet. Carl left this season, and his departure really shook up fans. His character plays a major role in an upcoming storyline in the comics, so it was really unclear how the show is going to handle the story without Carl. Now things are looking even more unsure with Rick leaving.
ComicBook.com also confirmed from multiple independent sources that the news is true, and AMC will officially announce his exit before his last episodes. With several other cast members nearing the end of their contracts, it’s unclear if they will follow his lead. Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, is nearing the end of her contract too. She’s achieved quite a bit of fame recently with Black Panther.
The loss of Rick, as Collider so aptly described it, “is catastrophic.” The comic’s plot revolves around Rick, and major changes will need to be made to accommodate his absence.
It looks like Norman Reedus, who stars as Daryl, is going to take over Rick’s role once he’s gone. Collider reported that Reedus has been offered a substantial pay to take over the leading role on the show. (I personally think Carl would have been better taking on that leadership role, but it’s too late for that.)
It’s not known how Rick will exit the show, but it is expected to happen before the Season 9 finale. Lincoln plans to return to the UK to spend more time with his family, ComicBook.com reported.
So what do you think? Can the show survive the loss of Rick? Take our poll below and let us know.
This is a developing story.