First things first: Potentially MAJOR SPOILERS for The Walking Dead to follow, so if you aren’t caught up with AMC’s hit series, consider this your one — and only — warning to turn back now. For everyone else, read on for details regarding upcoming exits for two of the series’ biggest stars — including your old pal, Rick Grimes.
Collider reports that Andrew Lincoln, star of AMC’s long-running hit zombie drama, is scheduled to leave The Walking Dead in its upcoming Season 9. The ninth installment of the series is set to debut this fall with Lincoln in tow, but, per the site’s sources, not for long. According to the report, Lincoln — along with Lauren Cohan — will leave the show six episodes into the season. It’s probably fair to speculate that they won’t be given particularly happy endings.
Lincoln’s exit comes on the heels of a season that bid (a somewhat controversial) farewell to Chandler Riggs, who played Rick’s son, Carl. (Or CORL!, according to the internet.) Cohan’s departure is not especially shocking, given recent rumors suggesting that might be the case; those rumors were the apparent result of Cohan’s negotiations for a higher salary. ABC has also ordered the Cohan-starring series Whiskey Cavalier to series, making it unlikely that she’ll juggle both acting commitments in the long term.
While Cohan’s exit wouldn’t be all that game-changing for the series, Lincoln’s rumored departure would leave a fairly sizable hole to fill. Per Collider, AMC is offering Norman Reedus a hefty pay increase to stick around, with plans to turn Daryl Dixon into the series’ main star. Given the circumstances and chatter surrounding the latest Walking Dead rumor, it seems likely that salary disputes may have played a role in Lincoln’s decision to move on, but what do you guys think?