Andrew Lincoln To Be Phased Out Of The Walking Dead In Season 9

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Yesterday brought some hugely shocking news for The Walking Dead fans – longtime star Andrew Lincoln is set to leave the AMC zombie drama during the upcoming ninth season. In his wake, co-star Norman Reedus is reportedly being offered a fat wad of extra cash in order to convince him to stay on and take over as the show’s new lead.

Lincoln’s exit follows hot on the heels of the announcement that Lauren Cohan will also be leaving TWD in season 9. What’s more, producers plan to write both Rick Grimes and Maggie Rhee out in the same way: they’ll be gradually phased out of the series. This is partially down to the actors only being available for limited filming time but it should also be a good way for the audience to prepare themselves for the characters exiting the show for good.

It was previously revealed that Cohan’s only staying on for six episodes of season 9, before she jumps ship to her new job – ABC’s comedy/drama Whiskey Cavalier. It hasn’t yet been confirmed how many episodes Lincoln is set to be a part of, though it’s been reported that he could also only be around for six installments as well.

As far as we know, the actor isn’t bowing out of The Walking Dead due to any behind the scenes drama like Cohan, who’d been involved with a lengthy contract dispute with the show’s bosses. Instead, what’s being said is that the British thesp would just like to spend more time with his family back in England, rather than working in Atlanta. After eight and a bit years on the series, you can’t blame him for calling it a day, right?

Losing two major characters such as Rick and Maggie – the latter joined in season 2, while the former has been around since the very beginning – will likely be a significant trial for The Walking Dead, leading many fans to wonder if it’ll be the same without them and with Daryl in the lead instead. That remains to be seen, but we’ll find out when the show returns to AMC this fall.

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