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Andrew Lincoln says his exit from The Walking Dead is part of 'a new vision for the show'

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Oct 23, 2018, 8:49 PM EDT

Even though Rick Grimes will be leaving The Walking Dead after the show's next two episodes, Andrew Lincoln believes it's necessary considering the direction the show is now heading in.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his impending exit, Lincoln said that current showrunner Angela Kang is leading "a new vision for the show."

"I think Angela and everybody involved in it are performing out of their socks," Lincoln said. "To the best of their ability, they’re putting it all out there. It’s a really exciting landscape that all of the characters are inhabiting."

Lincoln went so far as to say that the long-running series, where he's been the main character since the very beginning, is becoming what he always imagined it would. Even if it's doing so without his character's fearless leadership. "It’s the show I always thought we’d get to when I did the pilot -- a pared-down, much more dangerous and compromising and [sparse] landscape."

That's not to say that Lincoln won't be involved moving forward. He plans to return to the show as a director, and he's recently shadowed a director to help prepare him for when he'll be calling the shots sometime in Season 10.

By being behind the camera, he'll still be able to be a part of the show's ongoing legacy, which he's clearly excited about. "It’s beautiful watching and seeing my dear friends who are incredible actors doing extraordinary things and turning it into a new show. That is enormously gratifying."

Are you ready for The Walking Dead without Rick Grimes? Let us know in the comments.