The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chandler Riggs
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Andrew Lincoln says he'll be back on The Walking Dead, just behind the camera next time

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Sep 25, 2018, 12:27 PM EDT

After breaking fans’ hearts by saying goodbye to The Walking Dead, star Andrew Lincoln recently revealed that he won’t be gone for good — at least behind the scenes, anyways. The actor explained that he’s contemplating a bit of a career shift, aiming to direct, and The Walking Dead will be his education and, if things go well, first gig.

According to EW, the actor — leaving the show to spend more time with his family back in the UK — is soon to be a director, or at least a director’s shadow. Lincoln explained that he’ll be going back to set in Georgia not to act, but to learn how to run an episode himself. “I’m going back,” Lincoln said. “I’m going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year.”

So Lincoln will be back for Season 10 after all (as long as he isn’t totally terrible at directing). But the show and its creative team have been good about setting up its actors with enough skills to helm episodes before. Fear the Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo and TWD’s Michael Cudlitz followed this learning model before directing episodes of their own. But this isn’t purely professional interest for Lincoln.

“I can’t be that far away because I can’t bear it,” laughs Lincoln. “That’s how much I am invested in the show and the continuation of the story.” Stacking the resume is just a perk for continuing to hang around some great friends and a show that defined his career.

The second half of Season 9, which Lincoln will likely be shadowing as it’s shot, airs in early 2019.