Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead, but that doesn’t mean that Rick Grimes needs to die. Lincoln has teased that there could be another, less brutal way for his character to segue out of AMC’s zombie drama.
In an interview with the press at San Diego Comic-Con, Lincoln said this:
“Well, I think Lennie James is a perfect example of leaving without dying and doing rather well on it. I just saw him about five minutes ago…So, yes, there is that way, and then there is obviously the other way which we’ve done quite a lot. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you which way. I mean, I prefer the Lennie James of it all, but I think what we have in store this season is truly remarkable and I’m very, very proud of the work that we’ve done.”
If you’re wondering what Lincoln is referring to there, Lennie James is the actor that played Morgan in The Walking Dead. He left the show at the end of The Walking Dead season 8, with Morgan choosing to go solo and work on his mental health instead of sticking with Rick’s group. Lennie James later showed up in Fear The Walking Dead, with the spinoff show jumping forward in the timeline to pick Morgan up after his departure from The Walking Dead.
Lincoln seems to be suggesting that Rick could leave his gang without dying, just like Morgan, if the writers wanted to play it that way. This approach would leave the door open for Rick to return, at a later date, if Lincoln ever wanted to reprise his role by guest starring in either Walking Dead series.
Speaking after The Walking Dead‘s season 9 panel, Lincoln said this, suggesting that he is starting to get a bit emotional about leaving:
“I’ll tell you what, at the end of the panel, it sort of hit me a little bit. I got kind of choked up, and it’s been nine years of coming here. I love this place and I love seeing the fans, and you’ve been such a vital part of this experience. But as I said, my relationship with Mr. Grimes is far from over.”
We’ll bring you more news on The Walking Dead as we hear it.