Rumor: Andrew Lincoln Leaving The Walking Dead After Season 9

Rick sick

Norman Reedus, who plays popular bow-and-arrow-wielding survivor Daryl Dixon in the series, is rumoured to be in the running to replace Lincoln as the show's leading man, with Us Weekly reporting he has negotiated a US$20 million contract to front the cast.

The Walking Dead wasn't kidding when they told fans that season 9 would be a whole new era for the show. In response to that shocking news, we've gotten a slew of headlines about what kind of plans are being set in motion to fill the void after Lincoln departs the show.

Lincoln is a standout because he's sort of the last remaining artifact of the first season of the series, with his character's son Carl Grimes getting killed off earlier this year.

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The series is based on Robert Kirkman's ongoing comic series and his story still revolves around Rick so the show's writers will have to come up with some more original material in order to transition Lincoln out and Reedus into the lead.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the U.S. and on FOX and NOW TV in the UK.

Paul Shirey - I've always felt that Andrew Lincoln was the anchor to The Walking Dead (as well as the comic, obviously).

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Lincoln is expected to appear in just six new episodes, less than half of the 16 installments booked.

There are, admittedly, a lot of parallels between The Office's loss of its lead, and what's now happening on The Walking Dead. The Office then thought an injection of big-name stars (Idris Elba, Will Ferrell, James Spader), would bring fans back to the conference table - but despite some great character performances from those actors, the move was overwhelmingly written off as a desperate gimmick. The American TV network is yet to comment on the news.

Lincoln's departure is a major shock to the franchise, according to the Hollywood Reporter and to fans. Take that how you will. Scott Gimple has been announced to be the Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead universe at AMC. Fear the Walking Deadairs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC.

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