With Carl to die in the next episode of The Walking Dead and Chandler Riggs leaving the show, it's learned that Andrew Lincoln is also thinking of his departure from the series, which has seen the actor play the lead role of Rick Grimes.
“I think that there’s an innate feeling and certainly in me that I love doing a play or doing the film because you get to put a period on the end of it and you get to do it nightly, which is really exciting," Andrew Lincoln explained to EW.com. "TV is different. The format is different because it is about sort of a continuum. But, you know, there is a sense to me that really needs some… it sounds like I’m in a shrink’s head, but there is a completion thing that I think I deserve for doing it for so long. And also probably the audience would like some completion.”
It's noted Andrew Lincoln is not talking about The Walking Dead ending, but the show going on without him (it's been said three more seasons are at least planned, and The Walking Dead Season 9 is green lit).
“There’s only so many ways you can bend and stretch this and that," Lincoln continued. "I’m not saying that the show would ever finish, but I certainly think that there’s an opportunity for the show to change at some point, and I think it should.”
Andrew Lincoln continues with mention the show could survive without Rick Grimes and goes so far as to tease it could happen this season.
“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?” Lincoln said.
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who recently defended the decision to kill of Carl, also thinks the series could continue without Rick Grimes.
“I think it could,” Kirkman said. “Andy 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.”
While thought of Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead might upset a lot of fans, Kirkman adds, “I don’t think we have to worry about that any time soon.”
The Walking Dead returns with new episodes Sunday, February 25th on ABC.