The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln plans to wrap up his role as Rick Grimes with this fall's ninth season, but he's already planning a return to the franchise - just not an as actor.
"I’m going back," Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year."
Grimes previously directed two episodes of the Channel 4 sitcom Teachers.
The Walking Dead has an informal process for its actors to step in as directors - actors Colman Domingo and Michael Cudlitz both shadowed directors prior to directing an episode of the series itself.
Lincoln announced earlier this year that he was leaving The Walking Dead in order to focus on his family in England.
"I have two young children, and I live in a different country, and they become less portable as they get older," Lincoln said. "It was that simple. It was time for me to come home."
The Walking Dead is filmed in Georgia. When asked why he is returning, even in this limited capacity, Lincoln said he couldn't stay away.
"I can’t be that far away because I can’t bear it," said the actor. "That’s how much I am invested in the show and the continuation of the story."
The Walking Dead's ninth season is set to begin October 7 on AMC.