WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 9 episode "What Comes After," which premiered this past Sunday on AMC.
While Rick Grimes ultimately survived his much-heralded final episode on The Walking Dead this week, original series star Andrew Lincoln has confirmed he will not be returning to the main series of the longrunning AMC show.
Lincoln, who portrayed Rick for the first nine seasons of The Walking Dead, will reprise the role in a trilogy of television films on AMC but his character will not return to original series as confirmed by the actor in a new interview.
"I can categorically say that I will not be returning to the TV show," stated Lincoln firmly in an interview with The New York Times.
Rick was last seen being rescued by a mysterious helicopter being flown off to parts unknown while the last scene of his last episode featured a surprise time jump to six years into the future with his daughter Judith now older and wearing his old sheriff's hat. While there is no premiere date announced for the first spinoff film, principal photography is expected to begin sometime next year.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC for its ninth season, The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.