How The Walking Dead can survive Andrew Lincoln’s departure

For fans of The Walking Dead, times are definitely changing. And maybe not for the best. Andrew Lincoln is reportedly not be returning to The Walking Dead for its 10th season. That means this upcoming Season 9 will mark the last season for TWD main character Rick Grimes.

Nine seasons on one show is a lot, especially for an actor who wants to explore other career options while he can still play a leading man. Lincoln probably can avoid typecasting as Rick with a shave, but for the future of the show? Maybe it’s not so rosy.

Lincoln’s imminent departure is also problematic as fellow star Lauren Cohan is going to be working on a reduced schedule. Cohan is starring in a new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier and will be appearing in at least six episodes of TWD next season. Of course, if the show bombs and ABC cancels it, AMC and TWD writers might be wise in not killing off Cohan’s Maggie Rhee.

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The Wrap reports AMC is basically giving Norman Reedus a blank check to stay on as the new lead character. That would kind of be like making Wolverine the lead character of the X-Men…OK, bad example. But Daryl is going to need some major character rehabilitation to fix some of his more clueless decisions over the last two seasons.

Maybe a better direction would be to make Danai Gurira’s Michonne the new lead character. Gurira is already one of the show’s hottest stars thanks to her role in Black Panther (and Avengers: Infinity War). Putting her firmly in the spotlight wouldn’t be a bad move.

The Walking Dead Say Yes - Rick and Michonne

Melissa McBride’s Carol is the only other original cast member besides Reedus and Carol would be equally compelling. Or maybe the show goes a completely surprising route and uses Season 9 to redeem Negan and make Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character the focal point?

In another somewhat out there idea, maybe Season 9 is when TWD folds into its spin-off Fear the Walking Dead? That show has increasingly won over its critics and in many online circles is considered the superior version of the show at this point. Have whatever surviving characters on both shows unite and make one great Walking Dead show.

That’s my thinking. What’s your take on the news?

Photo Credit: AMC
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