AceShowbiz - Actor Andrew Lincoln has confirmed he's walking away from The Walking Dead.
A day after the show's creator, Robert Kirkman, appeared to confirm the news at Comic-Con in San Diego, California, the Brit made his exit official at the convention on Friday, July 20, during a panel with his castmates.
"This will be my last season playing the role of Rick Grimes," he told fans. "I love this show, it means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I'm particularly fond of the people who watch this show.
"I don't want this to become an Oscar acceptance speech or an obituary... My relationship with Mr. Rick Grimes is far from over."
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show.” - Andrew Lincoln #TWD#SDCC— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) 20 July 2018
More than 6,000 The Walking Dead fans packed into Comic-Con's fabled Hall H for the cast panel and were treated to a new trailer for the upcoming season - Lincoln's last.
Kirkman also used the event to update fans on a cast addition - Lincoln's fellow Brit Samantha Morton will play Alpha in the new season.
On Thursday, the show creator told The Hollywood Reporter he had big plans for Lincoln's exit, stating, "He wants to do something special on the way out. We have something amazing planned. I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but anybody who has been a fan of his journey, who loves Rick Grimes, who loves the world of The Walking Dead, you're going to want to see what we do."
Lincoln's co-star Norman Reedus, who plays bow-slinging Darrell Pritchett, will reportedly take over as the show's leading man.