‘The Walking Dead’ season 8
Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 8. AMC/The Walking Dead

Many “The Walking Dead” comics fans will be watching season 9 with keen interest. The main concern is about any deviation from the source material due to the unexpected exit of the main character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). In a recent interview, Executive Producer Robert Kirkman assured the fans that the core story of the comics will not change.

In a recent interview with TheHollywoodReporter, Kirkman said that Lincoln had discussed his exit from the show a long time ago, which should have given the writers enough time to plan for the future. The actor took the decision before they wrapped filming for season 8, a season in which a major death is featured.

Rick’s exit puts huge pressure on the new showrunner Angela Kang. However, she said that the team understood Lincoln’s need to be with the family after giving so much of his time to the show, even though they would have liked for him to continue to stay till the end.

The writers had a lot of discussion on giving Rick a proper send-off and also focussed on making sure that the character has a legacy to leave behind. Another, equally important aspect for the writers to discuss was how the show will continue without it’s star.

Kirkman pointed out that there are differences between the show and the comics, and these differences get him “jazzed” about the show. However, he said that there are many comic book fans who are worried about what will happen on the show this time around, and he assured them by saying that the “core story” of the comics remains “intact.”

Kirkman teased that the plot of the show in the second half of the season will be about the remaining characters struggling to find a way to live in a “Rick-less” world.