Andrew Lincoln expressed his regret in leaving The Walking Dead during a virtual reunion with several of his former co-stars this week. Put together for the benefit of Georgia Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the meeting also featured Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Lennie James (Morgan Jones), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), and Christian Serratos (Rosita). Series superfan Yvette Nicole Brown appeared as the host of the event.
Reflecting on his time spent with the Walking Dead family, Andrew Lincoln spoke about his fondness for Georgia and the years he lived in the state for several months at a time.
"I didn't know what the South was. I'd never been to the South. And then I went to Georgia, and I fell in love with this extraordinary city, Atlanta. Living and working in the South was extraordinary ... [Georgia is] the most extraordinarily progressive place I've ever been in my life, and that was 12 years ago."
The actor goes on to address his appreciation for his former co-stars and how he regrets exiting the series.
"You guys I love. I mean, the connection that we have to the land, to the place, to the people. Arthur - my 10-year-old son - won't let me take a job unless it's in Georgia now (laughs). He just misses it. He goes, 'Take me back there!' I came back home for the kids, and now they're sick of me, and I wish I'd never left. It was a terrible decision."
Had Lincoln stayed, it wouldn't have been much longer for him to see that the end is in sight for the zombie drama. AMC has since revealed that the long-running show will conclude with a supersized eleventh and final season, bowing out with its final episodes in 2021 and 2022. It's not the end of the franchise as we know it, as Daryl and Carol will keep the story going in another spinoff of their own, but the writing was definitely on the wall for The Walking Dead to end after Lincoln left in the show's ninth season.
We haven't yet seen the last of Rick Grimes, either. Lincoln is set to reprise the role in a movie based on The Walking Dead, picking up from where we last saw the character in season 9. Initially, the reported plan was for Lincoln to star in a trilogy of movies released in theaters by Universal Pictures. Those plans might have changed given everything that's happened in 2020, but progress is still moving forward on the Walking Dead movie with Lincoln revealing to the Associated Press recently that shooting is set to start in the Spring of 2021.
The Walking Dead will return with its final episodes of season 10 on Feb. 28, 2021. The eleventh and final season of the zombie drama is expected to premiere on AMC next fall. There's no word yet on when Lincoln's Walking Dead movie will be released. Lincoln's quotes were transcribed by ComicBook.com.