Andrew Lincoln leaving Walking Dead during season 9

Andrew Lincoln leaving Walking Dead during season 9

Andrew Lincoln leaving Walking Dead during season 9

Andrew Lincoln, who has starred as the lead of AMC's The Walking Dead since the pilot, will reportedly be leaving the series after appearing in only a handful of episodes in the upcoming season nine. However, Chandler Riggs, the actor who played Carl Grimes up until his character's death in season 8, may have already suggested the series would be ending soon. Can the show survive without Rick Grimes? That's right TWD enthusiasts, Andrew Lincoln will be growling his way through the post-apocalyptic setting for just one more season before calling it quits.

US Weekly also reported Lincoln's costar, Norman Reedus, has negotiated a $20 million paycheck to stay on. Co-star Norman Reedus is now negotiating a new deal that will reportedly pay him around $20 million per season to become the new face of the series. After Lincoln goes, Reedus and Melissa McBride will be the only actors from Season 1 remaining.

Whether or not The Walking Dead can continue without its main star - the heart of the show for so long - Rick Grimes is another matter. Because otherwise - besides Daryl, Michonne and Carol - the show would have to be carried by relatively new additions from the show's shakier recent seasons, such as Jesus, Dwight and Ezekiel.

Quite what has sparked this decision was not disclosed, though Lincoln has been with the show since it began in 2010, and obviously it's a big commitment for him.

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At this point, we do not know how he will be exiting the storyline but considering this is a zombie show and characters are eaten/bitten all the time, we can't help but assume he's going to be killed off!

Collider announced the news last night, they couldn't spoil how the series' founding character makes his exit (thank heavens) but they did give away info about his half-a-dozen episode appearance.

In a show like The Walking Dead, as the title suggests, death lurks around every corner - literally. Collider reports that Lincoln and Cohan are both supposedly only confirmed for six episodes in the next season of AMC's comic book adaptation.

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