Given that AMC seems confident that The Walking Dead franchise will continue onward for the next decade, it may be some time before we even need to think about what a future without the series will look like, but one person whose future on the series is already set in stone is Andrew Lincoln. The actor has played the role of Rick Grimes since the very first episode of The Walking Dead, but the upcoming ninth season of the series will be the last we see of him as Lincoln is set to make his exit. As for just how Rick Grimes will depart from The Walking Dead, comic-creator Robert Kirkman wouldn’t say, but he did tease that they’ve “got something amazing planned. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but anybody who’s 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.”
The official synopsis for the ninth season of The Walking Dead:
Now, viewers will see the survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick’s steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors. As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
The Walking Dead will return to AMC on October 7, 2018.