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Robert Kirkman Confirms Andrew Lincoln’s ‘Walking Dead’ Exit

AMC-Ron Jaffe/Gene Page

For those fans who were holding out for a Hail Mary when it came to Andrew Lincoln’s departure from The Walking Dead, it looks like it’s time to accept defeat and just enjoy his final season on the long-running drama series. For the first time since reports that Lincoln would be exiting the series in season nine dropped, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has finally confirmed the news.

CR: AMC

While speaking with Kevin Smith in a pre-taped IMDB interview, he was asked about Lincoln’s future on the series and if it was true he was actually leaving the zombie drama.

“It’s looking that way,” Kirkman reluctantly answered. “It does make the differences between the comic and the show more pronounced,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, it’s all about Andrew Lincoln. This is a human being. This is someone I have known for almost a decade, somebody that I love. He’s been sweating in Georgia, away from his family, for so long.”

While it’s still a mystery as to how Lincoln’s exit will be worked into the show, Kirkman promised that the passion and dedication Lincoln has had towards the show over the past decade will be mirrored in his goodbye and that fans will be extremely satisfied with how it ends.

“He cares about the fans. He cares about the show deeply. He wants to do something special on the way out. We have something amazing planned. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but anybody who has been a fan of his journey, who loves Rick Grimes, who loves the world of The Walking Dead, you’re going to want to see what we do.”

You can watch the interview with Smith and Kirkman below!

In addition to Lincoln, Lauren Cohan who has been playing Maggie since season two will also be exiting the series. She, however, will be back on our screens before we know it when she appears alongside Mark Wahlberg in Mile 22 next month and on ABC’s new drama series Whiskey Cavalier. 

New showrunner Angela Kang has recently confirmed that the series will experience a time jump and while speaking with THR she previewed a bit of what viewers can expect for Rick heading into season 9.

 “Rick opens up the season in a place where things are relatively good and peaceful for him. He made that unexpected decision to let Negan live at the end of season eight, and we’ll deal with some of the aftereffects of that because it was such a momentous thing. And the trauma of losing his son Carl, even with the passage of time, is something that is still painful for him. We’re going to see him try to turn that pain into something positive for everybody. Rick will face some real challenges along the way. The thing that I hope the audience will respond to is seeing how Rick’s underlying goodness and leadership will shine in moments of great adversity.”

The Walking Dead released a teaser trailer for season 9 today, a day before their huge San Diego Comic-Con panel, where a full trailer will be released, taking place at 12:15 pm PST tomorrow. Check that out below!

What do you think of Kirkman’s comments? Are you going to watch The Walking Dead without Lincoln? Let us know and be sure to check back tomorrow for all of The Walking Dead scoop coming out of SDCC!

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Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn't be as proud as I am to be eerily similar to Nick Miller in real life, I do hope to one day write my own "Pepperwood Chronicles'.