Fans of “The Walking Dead” are not looking forward to Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the show. Lincoln has been there right from the beginning as Rick Grimes. However, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln has said he intends returning to the show, but in a director’s role.

Lincoln said he will direct an episode of the zombie horror series sometime next year. While it’s not quite the same as having Rick in the show, it is something.

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Former Rick Grimes to direct a TWD episode

When Andrew Lincoln announced his departure from the show earlier this year, he did say his relationship with “The Walking Dead” was not completely over.

While he understandably wishes to spend more time with his family, he will keep in touch with the “TWD” universe.

Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Lincoln about his plans to return to the show in a different role. He will be returning [VIDEO] to the Georgia set next year to direct one episode in season 10. His reasoning is that he “can’t bear” to be too far away from the show. He said that is how much he is invested in “The Walking Dead” and the continuation of the story.

Lincoln was heard to say at Comic-Con, while announcing his departure, that Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Danai Gurira (Michonne) are sending him scripts so he can keep an eye on the zombie series.

Other TWD universe stars involved in directing

Hollywood Reporter confirms Lincoln’s plans to return as a director [VIDEO], although they say the show’s representatives have not confirmed it yet. In fact, they say season 10 has not yet been confirmed either. They report that Lincoln wouldn’t be the first “TWD” cast member to get involved in directing. Michael Cudlitz, who played the sadly departed Abraham Ford in the show, reportedly directed the seventh episode of the upcoming season 9 along with “Fear The Walking Dead” star Colman Domingo.

In other news, the show itself reports on Twitter that Lincoln has been chosen as a finalist in the Male TV Star of 2018 in the E! People's Choice Awards.

Rick Grimes’ departure from The Walking Dead

For us lowly fans, we now have to prepare to watch season 9 and Lincoln’s departure from the show as Rick Grimes.

Many fan theories are going around about how he will leave but so far no real facts. In the comic books of the show, both Grimes and his son, Carl (played by Chandler Riggs) are still alive. Carl was killed off in season 8.

Not keeping strictly to the comic books by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard does keep things interesting for fans of the series, however. Knowing what’s coming is not always a good thing and a bit of mystery keeps things exciting on "The Walking Dead.".

The ninth season of “The Walking Dead” is set to premiere in the US on AMC on 7 October 2018, while UK viewers can enjoy it from 8 October 2018 on FOX. As usual, the 16 episodes of the season will be split into two parts, with the latter half coming in early 2019.