The Walking Dead actor Andrew Lincoln and producer Robert Kirkman believe that the series could continue without Rick Grimes. Ever since AMC's acclaimed zombie drama debuted in 2010, Rick Grimes has been leading the charge, and he has gotten his friends and family through some harrowing times. Still, he's not invincible, and considering how quickly characters are introduced and killed off, it's certainly possible that he may one day meet his untimely fate.
An ongoing talking point for producers is that no one's safe on the show; every character faces the possibility of dying or being consumed by one of the many Walkers. It's something that audiences have seen time and time again throughout the show's run, but some characters have obviously been saved by some sort of plot armor. After all, can one of television's most-watched dramas continue without its main character? Absolutely, says both the series' star and co-creator.
EW recently spoke with Lincoln, who's famously known for playing Rick Grimes on the hit series, about the show potentially continuing without him at the helm. Although it's something that many fans may be opposed to, it's actually something that Lincoln says would be the best way to shift the story over from Rick to his son, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs).
“Absolutely. It’s beautifully set up for that - for the camera to be certainly his story, and then it just shifts off. If ever there was a landscape or an environment to do that, it’s our show. But whether or not that’s this season… well, you have to find out, don’t you?”
Kirkman, who created the comic book series upon which the TV show is based, also believes that it's possible for The Walking Dead to continue without Rick Grimes. After all, the Grimes family aren't the only leading characters on the show.
“I think it could. [Andrew Lincoln] is the leader of this show and his dedication to the show is absolutely inspiring. Everyone just looks up to him and he’s a huge part of this show. But we have a very strong ensemble, and there’s a lot of characters that could carry the show. The Walking Dead is a story very much about a world and a bunch of people inhabiting that world."
Still, despite beliefs that the show could continue without Rick Grimes, Kirkman also said that he doesn't think "we have to worry about that anytime soon." Moreover, showrunner Scott M. Gimple believes that the only circumstance in which they would kill off Rick was if it further developed the overarching narrative, and he doesn't think that will happen until maybe their 20th or 30th season - if they make it that far.
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres on Sunday, October 22nd on AMC.