It was a sad day for ‘Walking Dead’ fans when they found that Andrew Lincoln, who plays the beloved character Rick Grimes, would be leaving the show.
The news broke of Lincoln’s departure on May 28 and the AMC network said that he will exit the show in season 9. He will also only appear in half of the episodes of next season. Lincoln has not given a full reason for wanting to leave the show, but some speculate after playing the iconic Rick Grimes character for years and living mostly in Georgia to shoot the show that he is ready to move on and spend time with his family in the UK.
Fans were hurt and devasted by this news because Lincoln has been the lead for the show since it premiered back in 2010 and has always been the focus of the main story. One fan named John Smith, decided to launch a petition on Change.org to stop Lincoln from departing the show.
The petition gives praise to Lincoln’s amazing run on the show and contributes to him wanting to leave because of the hardships of the show has been going through. AMC is facing lawsuits from the creator of the series Robert Kirkman for not receiving a fair share of the show profits. They received huge backlash for killing off Rick Grimes son Carl Grimes, played by Chandler Riggs, who is still alive in the comic books and later announced that another actor, Lauren Cohan would be leaving the show as well in season 9 after rumors she was in a pay dispute with the show.
Though the petition has over 4,000 signatures and is trying to reach 5,000 signatures to keep him to stay, it looks like Lincoln’s exit is permanent. One of the directors of The Walking Dead, Michael Satrazemis, took to Instagram about the sudden changes the show will face saying, “It will be different, but it will still be great.”
Since Lincoln will no longer be on the show, his costar Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, will be taking on the shows lead and it was reported that Reedus will be receiving a significate pay increase, somewhere close to $20 million dollars.
Reedus and Lincoln shared a friendship on and off screen. They constantly hang out offset and even pranked each other with glitter bombs. So, it was natural that Reedus would make an Instagram to express his love for Lincoln after the news broke about him leaving.
‘The Walking Dead’ season 9 is expected to premiere in October 2018.
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