News

The Walking Dead Cast, Fans Give Star Andrew Lincoln an Emotional Farewell at Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con 2018 is likely to be the actor's last as Rick Grimes. Plus, Samantha Morton joins the cast.

by | July 20, 2018 | Comments

The Walking Dead cast, producers, and fans gave star Andrew Lincoln an emotional San Diego Comic-Con send-off on Friday. The series’ creative team also announced that actress Samantha Morton (Minority Report and Hulu’s Harlots) will appear as the series’ newest villain, Alpha.

Season 9 of the series doesn’t kick off until October, but Lincoln is already preparing himself for the end.

This will be the British actor’s last go-round as the show’s hero. The news leaked back in May, but creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman confirmed the goodbye this week. This allowed Lincoln, who has been on the AMC zombie drama from the start, to speak freely about his exit Friday at two separate San Diego Comic-Con panels.


SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: (L-R) Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, and Norman Reedus attend 'The Walking Dead' panel with AMC during during Comic-Con International 2018 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“I want to say something because there seems to be an elephant in the room,” a noticeably choked up Lincoln told an estimated 6,000 attendees at the start of the fan panel in Hall H shortly after receiving a standing ovation. “This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes.”

A number of fans booed Lincoln’s announcement, but the actor pressed on to explain his side of things during the panel, which also included stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Lauren Cohan.

“Now hear me out, please. I love this show,” he said. “It means everything to me. I love the people that make this show. I promise not to cry. I’ve done enough crying onscreen. These guys and everybody back in Atlanta are the greatest surrogate family I could have ever wished for, but I do have a family and it’s time to go home.”

Lincoln, whose past credits include the 2003 Christmas rom-com Love Actually, said he didn’t want to spoil how his character will leave the show but added that, “This is a really terrific story for Rick and Michonne.”


SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: (L-R) Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan attend 'The Walking Dead' panel with AMC during during Comic-Con International 2018 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)

Later, when Lincoln chatted with reporters about his final season at a press conference, he said he wanted to talk to fans first and then the media about his decision because die-hard supporters of the series and the comics have been so inspiring.

“I’ve been coming to Comic-Con in San Diego for nine years and fans have been so beautiful, and it’s such a part of this experience. And that relationship is hard to leave behind,” he said. “But I have a relationship with my family, and I can’t keep going back and forth between England and Atlanta. This is something I’ve struggled with since the show began and here we are. My kids are older now and they need me.”

At the start of the fan panel, AMC showed off an action-packed trailer full of teasers, including a time jump in season 9 and Maggie (Cohan) has finally had her baby. The trailer also made it seem as though Daryl (Reedus) could take over command from Rick.

Daryl isn’t the only candidate. Angela Kang, who used to be a writer and producer for The Walking Dead, is now the new showrunner and said women characters such as Michonne (Gurira), Maggie, and Carol (Melissa McBride) will take more of the lead this season.

Speaking of powerful women, Kirkman confirmed that Morton will join the cast this season as Alpha, who leads a villainous group called the Whisperers. Executive producer Scott Gimple said the show hasn’t cast Alpha’s underling, Beta, yet.


SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln attend 'The Walking Dead' panel with AMC during during Comic-Con International 2018 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)

But Gurira and Reedus said no one can fill Lincoln’s shoes.

“I truly believe this is the best leading man on television,” Gurira told reporters of Lincoln, who plays her on-screen love interest. “Andy has set the tone since the pilot. His discipline, character, and kindness has taught us how to carry on without him. He has so equipped us — I couldn’t be thankful enough to learn from him. It’s been a true joy.”

Reedus also praised Lincoln, adding: “It’s always been an ensemble. This is a very female-driven season with a lot less bravado and a lot more depth. Like Danai said, Andy set the template. You can’t take Rick’s place.”

The Walking Dead season 9 premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC. 

Tag Cloud

TruTV USA richard e. Grant casting The Witch Disney Spike Crackle transformers theme song CNN finale comiccon series sports Extras CW Seed unscripted Peacock Rock Cannes Disney streaming service BET Countdown Pop Tarantino Creative Arts Emmys E! Ghostbusters Cartoon Network BBC America Polls and Games Netflix animated American Society of Cinematographers Pirates tv talk miniseries Mudbound Shudder travel golden globes TV diversity adventure TLC aliens police drama Emmy Nominations psychological thriller Opinion binge Binge Guide zombies revenge natural history historical drama zero dark thirty psycho south america politics Elton John Sony Pictures FX Drama CMT DC Universe History Comic Book toy story Mindy Kaling Rocketman Fox News Disney Channel technology adaptation Character Guide SXSW Lifetime TNT joker supernatural Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reality cancelled spain Schedule Reality Competition Calendar cooking Nickelodeon 2018 cinemax First Look green book Captain marvel Biopics vampires Red Carpet 21st Century Fox Spectrum Originals Trophy Talk DGA Starz Fantasy free movies GIFs Superheroes TIFF Interview blaxploitation Mary poppins hispanic Spring TV Food Network docudrama children's TV Epix 20th Century Fox ghosts Toys A&E talk show CBS All Access Pixar See It Skip It GoT romantic comedy crime drama cats Heroines Rom-Com robots NBC teaser Nominations Valentine's Day Trivia The Walking Dead anime Kids & Family television Pet Sematary Mary Tyler Moore USA Network based on movie jamie lee curtis Infographic Tomatazos Year in Review 24 frames Emmys First Reviews Set visit Amazon Prime APB Quiz Teen Box Office 71st Emmy Awards Lionsgate BBC OWN HBO zombie elevated horror IFC Disney Plus cancelled TV shows movies Country true crime Ellie Kemper MCU Black Mirror hist strong female leads AMC Women's History Month crime 2015 Cosplay harry potter halloween Fall TV award winner festivals Amazon Prime Video FOX facebook Winners GLAAD Martial Arts CBS cancelled TV series Masterpiece biography ESPN Film Festival YouTube Writers Guild of America YouTube Premium Sundance Now dragons NYCC ABC Family period drama doctor who Freeform ITV Bravo YouTube Red Song of Ice and Fire Comedy Central Thanksgiving Super Bowl Western dc DirecTV TCA what to watch Horror spanish language Brie Larson witnail spinoff mutant breaking bad Best and Worst Anna Paquin sequel LGBT Syfy war Summer Adult Swim Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt San Diego Comic-Con Chernobyl Sundance DC streaming service El Rey Superheroe Winter TV batman Apple TV+ PaleyFest streaming Lucasfilm spider-man cancelled television National Geographic SundanceTV Tumblr game of thrones social media canceled Rocky Podcast RT21 crossover political drama RT History anthology Musical spy thriller Dark Horse Comics Comedy 45 Awards Esquire Christmas stand-up comedy discovery Premiere Dates TCA 2017 justice league Video Games slashers nature 007 Apple ratings FXX The Purge Election Sneak Peek disaster Trailer Comics on TV game show President Arrowverse Ovation Columbia Pictures VH1 Shondaland Britbox cults WGN Mystery kids Holidays cops Walt Disney Pictures Oscars space The Arrangement Hulu thriller Stephen King Pride Month latino Logo Film Musicals Television Academy Acorn TV Awards Tour Amazon Paramount Network Star Wars YA book sitcom Animation singing competition LGBTQ dceu science fiction Paramount Marathons romance 2017 ABC Nat Geo Certified Fresh SDCC Music PBS Grammys E3 MSNBC HBO Max The CW 2019 renewed TV shows IFC Films MTV X-Men cars Sci-Fi serial killer dramedy TV renewals Marvel composers Warner Bros. crime thriller medical drama Universal WarnerMedia video DC Comics 2016 New York Comic Con TBS canceled TV shows quibi Family foreign comic Photos mockumentary boxoffice Star Trek TV Land Mary Poppins Returns VICE Watching Series TCM Showtime Action Vudu