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

Britbox Amazon Prime Video Endgame Apple Pixar Disney Channel medical drama Anna Paquin streaming harry potter National Geographic cars Musicals Showtime Nominations serial killer DC streaming service Sony Pictures FXX TBS Esquire Apple TV+ versus Nat Geo GLAAD psycho GIFs docudrama series Mindy Kaling breaking bad Sundance Horror Calendar TruTV Mystery Trailer Disney TCA Winter 2020 Sneak Peek Tubi BET canceled robots cartoon 20th Century Fox biography CBS All Access independent CMT Mary Tyler Moore anthology crime drama Mary Poppins Returns Spring TV BBC America Shudder CNN dragons renewed TV shows latino Trophy Talk Marvel Television Elton John Mary poppins christmas movies cults Ellie Kemper Sundance TV 2017 supernatural Quiz anime Apple TV Plus FOX Box Office ratings cancelled TV shows E3 Cosplay spanish language VH1 Lucasfilm werewolf Shondaland The Arrangement Pet Sematary MCU The Witch spy thriller Netflix Christmas movies Hallmark dramedy TV renewals Rocketman indie binge OneApp Photos Cannes Superheroe travel WarnerMedia blaxploitation Ghostbusters crossover 2015 ABC Family disaster TCA 21st Century Fox book Action Winners Holidays See It Skip It dogs Certified Fresh movies Comic Book Awards Television Academy mockumentary crime Netflix facebook jamie lee curtis Lifetime Superheroes Rocky AMC Pride Month Drama psychological thriller Song of Ice and Fire NYCC HBO Max zombie Sundance Now theme song talk show 24 frames Heroines Super Bowl Film Masterpiece Video Games finale TV Walt Disney Pictures Spike Fall TV cancelled television canceled TV shows sag awards stand-up comedy Nickelodeon Logo teaser Chilling Adventures of Sabrina period drama Chernobyl New York Comic Con blockbuster American Society of Cinematographers composers Biopics slashers Amazon Prime golden globes social media Adult Swim SundanceTV CBS YA Animation Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Amazon miniseries game show elevated horror Trivia RT History comic Reality APB mutant Cartoon Network Disney+ Disney Plus reboot Discovery Channel Rock documentary children's TV Sci-Fi LGBTQ politics TCA 2017 transformers LGBT Spectrum Originals spider-man Disney Plus Election SXSW Western Baby Yoda Christmas WGN Paramount cancelled Musical Dark Horse Comics Turner 2019 Star Wars adaptation dc Peacock richard e. Grant vampires Grammys Winter TV DC Comics San Diego Comic-Con Black Mirror 2018 toy story A&E spinoff doctor who Premiere Dates screenings Music Binge Guide YouTube Red Creative Arts Emmys justice league Film Festival movie boxoffice animated thriller Marvel true crime cooking kids 007 Classic Film YouTube Writers Guild of America IFC Films Comedy TIFF Red Carpet Infographic Hallmark Christmas movies Arrowverse Crackle Family Fox News Comics on TV natural history sports TCM VICE PBS 71st Emmy Awards YouTube Premium Tomatazos discovery MSNBC The Walking Dead First Look Reality Competition romance RT21 directors foreign TLC Stephen King Ovation Crunchyroll Fantasy Oscars Disney streaming service The Purge SDCC Universal science fiction E! Countdown Epix video Summer Hulu FX The CW sequel TV Land historical drama A24 Extras Interview Teen casting Marvel Studios Holiday Year in Review quibi OWN based on movie police drama television war BBC Character Guide green book Schedule Columbia Pictures Food Network festivals Best and Worst Podcast CW Seed USA Network ESPN what to watch zero dark thirty Paramount Network Marathons spain witnail USA Kids & Family Pop aliens south america cops Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Studios Rom-Com Country Emmys nature HBO Academy Awards Polls and Games space Captain marvel Valentine's Day Pirates Warner Bros. rotten movies we love singing competition Bravo PaleyFest El Rey cats game of thrones Set visit DGA strong female leads diversity GoT Emmy Nominations romantic comedy hispanic Thanksgiving DirecTV Freeform Watching Series technology comics 2020 Comedy Central Tarantino halloween Avengers X-Men First Reviews batman Mudbound political drama Awards Tour cinemax Star Trek dceu Syfy IFC Vudu MTV cancelled TV series Brie Larson award winner Women's History Month Acorn TV History Lionsgate 2016 Opinion zombies Martial Arts free movies screen actors guild crime thriller adventure NBC President Tumblr comiccon ghosts sitcom 45 name the review Turner Classic Movies Starz DC Universe unscripted revenge joker ITV hist ABC tv talk Toys TNT