When it comes to The Walking Dead, the future is very uncertain for all characters because death is always lurking right around the corner and can take anyone from the newest guest star to long-time series regulars.
Turns out for season nine the uncertainty of character’s futures has more to do with behind the scenes matters.
After all the questions about Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee and her status for season nine, according to Collider series regular Andrew Lincoln, a former cop turned post-apocalyptic leader Rick Grimes, could be set to leave the show before season nine is over. The reports state that Lincoln is only contracted for six episodes for the season.
To replace him, reportedly Norman Reedus’ Darryl Dixon has been offered not only a substantial raise to keep him on the show but to also step into the leading role that Lincoln has held for eight seasons.
Recently the series has seen the departure of many big-time characters with Steven Yeun’s Glenn dying in season seven, Lennie James Morgan Jones jumping over to Fear the Walking Dead and Chandler Rigg’s Carl Grimes perishing in the midseason premiere of season eight. Cohan’s Maggie reportedly is set to appear in season nine after disputes over her contract but will only appear in six episodes as well, now that ABC has picked up her pilot Whiskey Cavalier to series.
At the end of season eight, Grimes and company finally won their war against Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, with the ninth season reportedly following the comic books by doing a time jump after the war’s end.
Ratings have steadily been declining for the zombie-filled series, hitting lows in season eight, but it is still a juggernaut for AMC. While there could be any number of reasons for Lincoln’s possible departure, it is very likely one tied to the fact that he has been tied down working on the show for the last eight years.
Previously others like Chad Coleman and Sonequa Martin-Green among others that have picked up other work have seen their characters come to an end on the show. The filming schedule for the series, which films down in Georgia, is a tough one that takes a lot of time.
The Walking Dead returns in October.