‘The Walking Dead’: What Has Andrew Lincoln Been up to Since Leaving

When Andrew Lincoln announced he was leaving The Walking Dead, fans of the beloved zombie series collectively gasped. Many wondered how the show would go on without its lead character. Lincoln left during season 9 in 2018, and the show has held on until its 11th season.

Many factors contributed to Lincoln leaving, but the biggest was that he wanted to come home to his family in England. Since then, he hasn’t really done much except hang out, and he’s regretting it a bit. Which is why he’s all fired up to return as Rick Grimes in the upcoming The Walking Dead films.

Why did Andrew Lincoln leave ‘The Walking Dead’?

After he announced his exit, Lincoln spoke to Entertainment Weekly about why he was leaving the successful show behind. He said it was mainly because of his family. The Walking Dead shot for over half the year in Georgia, and Lincoln lives in England, so it really wasn’t fair to his wife and kids anymore.

“I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older,” said Lincoln. “It was that simple. It was time for me to come home.”

That didn’t make telling all the fans any easier, however. “Completing the show was like releasing air finally,” Lincoln continued. “And it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular. But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s— got real, is the truth of the matter.”

Lincoln was actually supposed to leave during season eight. Still, once it came, he realized that rather than having “the funeral, I had to prepare for the funeral and I had to make sure everybody was comfortable with the funeral arrangements,” he said.

RELATED: Andrew Lincoln Is Leaving ‘The Walking Dead.’ This Is the Salary Per Episode He’s Giving Up

Andrew Lincoln jokingly said he made a bad decision leaving ‘The Walking Dead’

Since leaving The Walking Dead, Lincoln has been able to spend time with his family. But recently, he’s been jokingly calling it “a terrible decision.” During a virtual Walking Dead reunion (per NME) in January, held as a fundraiser for the Georgia Senate Victory Fund, Lincoln reflected on his life since leaving the show and missing Georgia.

“I mean, the connection that we have to the land, to the place, to the people. Arthur — my 10-year-old son — won’t let me take a job unless it’s in Georgia now,” he said. “He just misses it. He goes, ‘Take me back there!’ I came back home for the kids, and now they’re sick of me, and I wish I’d never left. It was a terrible decision.”

Lincoln took time off after putting away his cowboy boots. He didn’t appear in anything until the 2020 Netflix film Penguin Bloom with Naomi Watts and Old Vic in Camera: A Christmas Carol. So it looks like Lincoln is definitely ready to come back as Rick after having a much-needed hiatus.

So far, only one Walking Dead film is listed on his IMDb page, but Lincoln hopes there will be three films, and he’s ready. He also shared that a fan bumped into him and called for him to return as Rick. “All I heard was, ‘Come back, Rick,'” he said, “It was so moving. I turned around, and I just went, ‘We’re working on it.’ So that’s my answer to you, we’re working on it.”

RELATED: ‘The Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln Punched Several Co-Stars In the Face

Andrew Lincoln is set for ‘The Walking Dead’ films

Lincoln is very eager to get back to the world of The Walking Dead. Speaking to CinemaBlend about his return as Rick in The Walking Dead films, Lincoln said, “I want to get my cowboy boots on, and my steps-in, and rid the world of the zombie hordes … I can’t wait to get the script and get going.”

Lincoln is a relatively free agent with his kids older and “not wanting him around anymore.” His kids are the ones egging him on to return now. Lincoln couldn’t have returned to The Walking Dead even if he wanted to, being stuck in lockdown in England since the pandemic started.

Fans are now wondering whether Lincoln could have a cameo this season. In April, Lincoln said he’d not been asked yet, and England stayed in lockdown until June. The Walking Dead will finish shooting in late 2021, so Lincoln may be able to fly over to shoot a quick cameo, but we’ll patiently wait until the first The Walking Dead film, whenever that’s set to premiere.