Andrew Lincoln Is Returning to The Walking Dead...as a Director

Andrew Lincoln is back! Sort of!
Andrew Lincoln is back! Sort of!
Photo: Jackson Lee Davis (AMC)

You might be gearing up to bid farewell to Andrew Lincoln in front of the camera on The Walking Dead. But Rick Grimes exiting the show doesn’t mean that Andrew Lincoln himself is done with those rascally zombies.

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Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln confirmed that he is planning to return to The Walking Dead’s current filming for season nine in Senoia, Georgia. However, he won’t be donning the greying facial hair of everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic former sheriff—he’ll be shadowing directors so he can head behind the camera for the show’s 10th season:

I’m going back. I’m going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year.

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This isn’t a new venture for Lincoln, either—before Walking Dead ever took off, he directed several episodes of his previous “best known for” show, the Channel 4 sitcom Teachers, in which he also starred.

It’s not the Rick Grimes return you might have wanted, unless you want to put on your tinfoil hats and presume this is all an elaborate plan to have Rick return in secret. But it’s still good to hear that Lincoln is not completely done with the franchise at large after all these years.

The Walking Dead shuffles back onto TV screens October 7.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

Pope Somhairle, Bishop of Evans, Pine, Hemsworth, Anti-Pratt

You know, I get why people are still about this show, I do. But after Shiva and Carl (Shiva I don’t even mind the death, it was just the absolutely moronic, contrived BS way it happened), I just fucking couldn’t anymore. And man, Fear is not much better with Morgan. That character is just grating to me...

That said, if I were an actor who made a bunch of bank playing a character and left before the ratings took the real nosedive that is definitely coming in the next couple years, I could see capitalizing on that to be around familiar faces and to squeeze a little more green out of the situation without actually risking anything career wise.

“Lead Actor Leaves Acting Role, Takes Helm Behind Camera” is less of a headline and more a statement of how little risk Lincoln is taking here. If he does a poor job directing, he doesn’t get a lot of directing work in the future but does nothing to tarnish his name as an actor and gets a decent paycheck for what he did do. If he does a good job, he gets some more TV work directing and even producing in the future, which secures more creative control in future projects. It’s a smart if pretty safe move.