Andrew Lincoln May Be Returning to 'The Walking Dead' to Direct

Andrew Lincoln the walking dead

The 45-year-old actor's character, Rick Grimes, is set to depart the series in season nine.

Andrew Lincoln just can't stay away. 

The Walking Dead star shocked fans when he confirmed his upcoming departure from the series at San Diego Comic-Con in July. But while we've been preparing to say goodbye to Rick Grimes in season nine, it looks like Lincoln might stick around for a while. 

“I’m going back,” Lincoln recently told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year.”

“I can’t be that far away because I can’t bear it,” he added with a laugh. “That’s how much I am invested in the show and the continuation of the story.” 

Lincoln isn't the first Walking Dead star to step into the director's chair. Michael Cudlitz (whose character, Abraham, was brutally killed off in the season seven premiere), returned to direct the upcoming seventh episode of season nine, "Stradivarius," which is set to air on Nov. 18. And Fear the Walking Dead's Colman Domingo (who plays Strand on the series), directed the 12th episode of season four on that show, titled "Weak." 

While speaking with ET at Comic-Con, Lincoln's TWD co-stars opened up about his upcoming exit. "I mean, he's my BFF forever. I'm bummed," Norman Reedus -- who is rumored to be taking over as the show's lead -- confessed. 

"He's been the leader of this show, and he's definitely the quarterback of this team, always will be," he continued. "His shoes cannot be replaced, and they never will be." 

See more in the video below. 

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Oct. 7 on AMC.