Andrew Lincoln will retire from the role of Rick Grimes in season 9 of 'The Walking Dead'.
'The Walking Dead' has been going through some big changes as of late. Behind-the-scenes, Angela Kang has stepped in as the series' new showrunner for season 9 and beyond. In front of the camera, we've seen Chandler Riggs' final moments in the role of Carl Grimes, as the character was killed off in some hugely emotional scenes. Then, there's been the drama surrounding Lauren Cohan's pay, with the actress now officially set to return for season 9 as Maggie Greene, but only for six episodes.
Andrew Lincoln's time on 'The Walking Dead' is coming to an end
With all of the dust settling around those revelations, now comes the news that Andrew Lincoln will actually be bowing out of the show, and retiring from his role as series lead Rick Grimes. It comes as a huge shock to fans, as the character has always been the one at the forefront of the drama, acting as the glue holding the group of survivors together on more than one occasion.
An exclusive report from Collider broke the news, with the entertainment news outlet also revealing that Norman Reedus - who plays fan-favourite Daryl Dixon - has been offered a substantial bump in his pay to stay on and take over in the leading role.
Now, it's certainly fair to say that 'Walking Dead' is a true ensemble show. The characters all have huge parts to play in pushing forward the narrative, and many have been fleshed out with compelling backstories and intriguing plot points.
But with all of that being said, Rick has always been the one person we wouldn't even dare to think would leave the series, at least until it came to an end for good. There's been no news or suggestions about the future of 'The Walking Dead' altogether, and no hints at it coming to a close with a series finale, but it does seem as though we're now lurching towards the show's end at a faster pace than ever.
We'll bring you more 'Walking Dead' news as and when we get it.