Andrew Lincoln is returning to The Walking Dead in a directorial fashion for its tenth season.
The actor who has played Rick Grimes since the AMC show’s first episode in 2010 is set to part ways with his role, at least on television, in the upcoming ninth season. However, he will be returning to the set before Season Nine concludes production and before having a heavy behind-the-camera presence in Season Ten. “I’m going back,” Lincoln told EW. “I’m going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year.”
This won’t be the first time a cast member of a Dead universe series has gotten behind the camera to direct. Recently, Fear the Walking Dead‘s Victor Strand actor Colman Domingo directed the show’s Episode 4×12, after breaking the news to ComicBook.com earlier this year. In Season Nine, The Walking Dead’s Abraham Ford actor Michael Cudlitz made a return to set to first shadow a director then direct Episode 9×07, as ComicBook.com exclusively reported in July.
As for Lincoln, the cross of playing Rick Grimes became to heavy to bear for most months out of the year. His family was growing up without him in the United Kingdom and, after 120 episodes, it was time be with them. “I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” Lincoln said. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”
Of course, leaving his The Walking Dead family behind is proving to be no easy feat. “I can’t be that far away because I can’t bear it,” Lincoln said. “That’s how much I am invested in the show and the continuation of the story.”
Avengers 4 is set for release in May of 2019. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!