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

kaiju book foreign asian-american MSNBC Freeform anime Classic Film green book IFC Films TCM screen actors guild BET trailers Reality Schedule Rom-Com MCU Disney Channel CBS Shondaland child's play true crime laika nbcuniversal Christmas Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ABC Trophy Talk nature romantic comedy streaming movies screenings Box Office Arrowverse Black History Month toy story Opinion cartoon reboot Comedy Central Valentine's Day Paramount canceled TV shows travel Creative Arts Emmys Mary Tyler Moore halloween tv Sci-Fi festivals HBO docudrama FX Reality Competition feel good Fox Searchlight OneApp latino stoner Trailer crossover biography best Amazon Studios Pride Month films Election thriller animated Fall TV game show Crunchyroll spain basketball San Diego Comic-Con live action DC streaming service comiccon canceled 72 Emmy Awards Country theme song jamie lee curtis Fantasy Heroines dceu Musical Super Bowl olympics LGBTQ joker Academy Awards saw Tarantino dramedy Trivia Showtime prank Biopics breaking bad movies VOD FXX Music Acorn TV Countdown sports quibi HBO Max french toronto mockumentary TV One ABC Signature versus spider-man reviews The CW Epix adaptation Song of Ice and Fire aliens political drama YouTube Red Discovery Channel Premiere Dates hispanic renewed TV shows razzies technology worst movies cops Avengers Legendary Stephen King children's TV The Purge TCA 2017 witnail Mystery golden globes serial killer Marvel Studios wonder woman Film Festival Exclusive Video hist pirates of the caribbean Amazon Prime Video superhero chucky 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards australia YouTube elevated horror CMT dark Holidays Polls and Games Crackle ITV rt labs police drama blockbusters politics Nominations Women's History Month dc nfl comic book movie 71st Emmy Awards New York Comic Con cinemax diversity Masterpiece WGN high school Turner Classic Movies Ellie Kemper series VICE blockbuster Drama USA spanish 2016 Star Wars Mary Poppins Returns Grammys slasher name the review comics PlayStation video Pop Interview parents FOX Watching Series Pop TV CW Seed sitcom indie based on movie First Look die hard TCA Winter 2020 GoT spy thriller A24 Rocky Calendar sag awards GIFs all-time criterion 21st Century Fox 73rd Emmy Awards critic resources Video Games Martial Arts DGA talk show LGBT Anna Paquin Hallmark Christmas movies APB period drama comic books superman TIFF kids robots TBS TV Chernobyl Musicals SDCC Vudu scary movies Infographic disaster aapi satire Holiday Warner Bros. Comic Book blaxploitation critics sequel MTV Marvel Television 20th Century Fox See It Skip It cooking Amazon Prime TV movies zombie ratings Hear Us Out Endgame TCA NBA independent Certified Fresh zero dark thirty Tumblr rt labs critics edition gangster suspense Awards Tour HBO Go 24 frames PaleyFest Marvel Cartoon Network Cannes Toys italian ViacomCBS dragons DC Comics Logo crime thriller indiana jones 2019 93rd Oscars Esquire Star Trek halloween debate adenture Comic-Con@Home 2021 facebook psychological thriller royal family Apple TV+ Pirates tv talk NBC war streaming Rocketman stop motion zombies adventure Hallmark miniseries NYCC E! women Mary poppins Brie Larson GLAAD Comics on TV Photos king arthur Tomatazos 2017 free movies IFC unscripted Winter TV National Geographic VH1 90s Spectrum Originals comic Awards strong female leads finale space Sony Pictures Tubi TLC Extras Starz documentary Captain marvel Year in Review transformers Travel Channel Emmy Nominations DirecTV 2021 Apple TV Plus Mindy Kaling monster movies target Mudbound rotten telelvision 4/20 AMC deadpool marvel cinematic universe TCA Awards cats universal monsters Podcast natural history rt archives Turner lord of the rings SundanceTV Nickelodeon social media The Academy Black Mirror Hulu cancelled TV series rom-coms new star wars movies hidden camera festival football Sundance Now Television Critics Association godzilla Lifetime Christmas movies anthology cancelled TV shows golden globe awards Bravo psycho 45 Sneak Peek cancelled television fresh comic book movies Binge Guide Teen Elton John casting Summer Television Academy 2018 RT History Netflix 99% werewolf batman Paramount Network docuseries black Paramount Plus action-comedy franchise Animation BAFTA japanese Disney streaming service BBC America Western X-Men Quiz Winners movie Shudder romance Comedy Superheroe Red Carpet Kids & Family classics singing competition know your critic Walt Disney Pictures Superheroes worst posters Syfy revenge ghosts legend Dark Horse Comics king kong discovery boxoffice concert kong 1990s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Sundance Sundance TV Lifetime Set visit twilight science fiction cars TNT The Walt Disney Company dexter Netflix Christmas movies Ghostbusters dogs south america Amazon new zealand sequels book adaptation historical drama harry potter Food Network YA Spring TV crime drama Pacific Islander teaser Universal RT21 Family crime cancelled television young adult PBS Lucasfilm Broadway CNN USA Network documentaries medical drama 2020 DC Universe TV renewals First Reviews Character Guide hollywood BBC One directors Disney Plus ID CBS All Access marvel comics Marathons venice Tokyo Olympics composers BET Awards james bond Oscars game of thrones scene in color Alien BBC japan archives popular History Wes Anderson YouTube Premium emmy awards mcc TruTV Lionsgate obituary Thanksgiving Baby Yoda Best and Worst Spike christmas movies vampires spinoff Rock jurassic park Britbox video on demand stand-up comedy scorecard El Rey Apple 2015 Columbia Pictures Action binge Disney supernatural WarnerMedia The Witch hispanic heritage month news Writers Guild of America Image Comics international Funimation Nat Geo Fox News President The Arrangement E3 Emmys heist movie fast and furious mission: impossible SXSW FX on Hulu American Society of Cinematographers doctor who Peacock award winner comedies TV Land Pixar remakes justice league cults Horror ESPN spanish language Adult Swim boxing biopic Ovation ABC Family The Walking Dead Pet Sematary rotten movies we love a nightmare on elm street new york richard e. Grant slashers 007 A&E OWN Disney+ Disney Plus mutant Film Cosplay what to watch