Andrew Lincoln recently suggested Rick Grimes might not die in season 9 of The Walking Dead. The upcoming season will be Lincoln's final turn as the series' lead since the show premiered in 2010, as he plans on exiting at some point in the season's first half.
Since it was reported that Lincoln would be leaving the AMC series, fans have been speculating whether it means Rick will be killed off or not. Earlier this month, the official Walking Dead Twitter account sent a cryptic message to fans upon theories and rhetoric being circulated. The tweet almost came as a cautionary warning for fans, and a means to keep them guessing until season 9 premieres. The message was sent out following leaked set footage and a page of the script. But like other shows with massive fan followings, the cast and crew behind The Walking Dead may be going out of their way to keep fans guessing.
According to ComicBook, while speaking at a press conference during San Diego Comic Con, Lincoln suggested that his character might not be killed off just because he's leaving the show. He even brought up Lennie James' exit as a way for Rick to be given a decent send off but still kept alive. James has actually outlived his character, Morgan, who originally died in the comic book. Now, he's a cast member on Fear The Walking Dead. Lincoln described James' character Morgan's exit a possible means for Rick to leave the show unscathed.
"So, yes, there is that way, and then there is obviously the other way which we've done quite a lot. Obviously, I'm not going to tell you which way. I mean, I prefer the Lennie James of it all, but I think what we have in store this season is truly remarkable and I'm very, very proud of the work that we've done."
During Comic-Con, the topic of conversation with The Walking Dead heavily surrounded Lincoln's departure. Lincoln had been thinking about leaving the show for quite some time, given that his family lives in the U.K. and he spends most of the summer and fall filming in Georgia. But he also noted that there is an opportunity to delve into the stories of the ensemble cast of characters, giving them the reins. The latest trailer out of Comic-Con has even suggested further opportunities given the extensive additions.
Until the show returns this fall, fans of The Walking Dead will continue to guess at what Rick Grimes' fate may be. It isn't unlike shows with large fan bases to hide certain elements of their season, especially with a departure such as this. For those who have been devoted to watching since season 1, they can definitely expect a jump forward in time. Fans will also see the return of Jon Bernthal as Shane in one form or another, and Michael Cudlitz coming back to direct episode 12. As for Rick, fans will just have to wait until The Walking Dead returns.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres on AMC on October 7.