The thought of AMC’s The Walking Dead continuing on without Rick Grimes is, perhaps, a tough pill to swallow. But whether you like it or not, Andrew Lincoln has made peace with his decision and so Season 9 will include a farewell to the character around which the show has been anchored since its inception.
Lincoln recently opened up about the decision to leave, and it seems to be a mix of wanting to create a more stable life for his family and the daunting sense that the show could seemingly go on forever- and he’d much rather bring his arc to some form of a satisfying conclusion.
On how family factored into the decision to exit The Walking Dead, he pointed out at San Diego Comic-Con that he’s devoted almost a decade to the production of the show. “Well, nine years. I was thinking about it, because that’s where we live,” he pointed out.
But seemingly more pressing for the actor was the sense for completion. “I suppose it was a lot to do with a conversation Scott [Gimple] and I had a few years ago, maybe in season four about the shape and finding some way to complete something that was never going to be completed,” Lincoln revealed.
It’s interesting hearing him refer to The Walking Dead, and the ambitions for the series, as something that’s “never going to be completed,” because it’s true. If AMC has its way, they’d probably have the series run forever. They’ve got the Fear The Walking Dead spin-off, and the network has made it pretty clear that they want to stay in the zombie business for a while longer. It sounds Lincoln could see that writing on the wall and, rather than continue on aimlessly with the character, he wanted to give Rick a finite conclusion.
I can’t argue with that, as one of the reasons I abandoned watching the series in the middle of Season 8 was because it just started feeling repetitive. I can only imagine how I’d feel as an actor, if it felt like the producers were all too happy to just have my character spinning his wheels so they can keep out cranking more episodes and seasons of a cash cow- all the while my family is growing up without me. I get it.
How do you feel about The Walking Dead losing Rick Grimes? Can the show continue on with Andrew Lincoln’s star-making work? Let us know!