In case you somehow haven’t heard, Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead. And the fact that all of the fans know this is a regret for the actor.
The day after their Comic-Con panel, the cast of the AMC series sat down with EW to tease season 9 and address Lincoln’s impending departure. On Friday, Lincoln confirmed that his run as Rick Grimes would end this season, which had been reported a few months earlier.
“There is a certain sense of relief this morning,” he admitted. “But I still regret that the story broke, because I believe in story and I think it would have been… it’s gonna be a great season but it would have been greater if it was not spoiled to a degree.”
A few days before Lincoln addressed the matter at Comic-Con, Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman beat the actor to the punch in confirming the news. Lincoln had fun with Kirkman spilling the beans when EW’s Gerrad Hall asked him his strategy to avoid spoilers. “Don’t tell Robert Kirkman,” cracked Lincoln.
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The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Oct. 7. Watch the full video above.