The Walking Dead Robert Kirkman

Creator of ‘The Walking Dead’, Robert Kirkman appeared on Kevin Smith’s pre-San Diego Comic-Con talk show for IMDB and tackled one of the toughest questions he was sure to be asked this weekend: Is this really Andrew Lincoln’s last season?

It appears that Lincoln’s exit as Rick Grimes is a certainty, but don’t expect there to be any hard feelings from the show’s creators.

Here is the exchange between Kirkman and Smith:

Kevin Smith: “What we saw in the last month is that one of our own is going away. One of the O.G.’s. Andrew Lincoln has said that this will be his last season?”

Robert Kirkman: “It’s looking that way.” (Laughs)

Smith: “How does that grab you as the creator of the book? In your world – there have been two very different stories for Rick in the show and in the comic, and he’s still got all ten digits [fingers] in the show. How does that affect you? Because you’re like ‘Wait, wait, wait, man! You’re going , well I still got Rick going on!”

Kirkman: “Yeah well it does make the differences between the comic and the show a little bit more… pronounced. But at the end of the day it’s all about Andrew Lincoln: I mean this is a human being, this is someone I’ve known for almost a decade, this is somebody that I love. He’s been sweatin’ in Georgia away from his family for so long.

“He cares about the fans; he cares about the show deeply; he wants to do something special on the way out; we got something amazing planned; I wouldn’t want to spoil anything, but anybody who’s been a fan of his journey, who loves Rick Grimes, who loves the world of The Walking Dead: You’re going to want to see what we do.”

It’s common knowledge that the crew and cast including the zombie extras go through hell in the sweltering, humid, bug-infested Georgia summer while shooting and this series has been on for a long time, going on nine seasons.  Lincoln, who has a wife and kids who stay behind in England while he is here filming, has to be feeling the pressure to lighten his load.

It sounds as though the show will do right by Rick Grimes and send him off in style.  The big question now is one that won’t be answered at Comic-Con: What will ‘The Walking Dead’ do without its leading man?

If you want to watch the entire interview, you can view it below: