Andrew Lincoln's 'The Walking Dead' exit to take solo lead Norman Reedus' salary to at least $20m

Andrew aka Sheriff Rick Grimes' decision to leave AMC's top-rated show comes as a huge shock to the fans.

                            Andrew Lincoln's 'The Walking Dead' exit to take solo lead Norman Reedus' salary to at least $20m
Norman Reedus (Source : Getty Images)

Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus may be allies on-screen and close buddies off-screen, but the former's departure from AMC's highest-rated 'The Walking Dead' is sure going to boost the latter's bank balance beyond your wildest dreams.  

Andrew, who has been the lead of the zombie show for its eight seasons, is quitting the show, leaving most fans devastated. However, this means, Norman, who was brought in to play the recurring role of Daryl Dixon -- who does not even have a comic book counterpart, is getting promoted within the show as the solo lead.  

This translates, in the simplest words, to cha-ching! 

Norman is obviously negotiating with the show-makers for a much fatter paycheck, which according to The Hollywood Reporter will be upwards of $20 million. After all, he is now the new No. 1 on 'The Walking Dead' call sheet.  

Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus attend the season 5 premiere of 'The Walking Dead' at AMC Universal City Walk on October 2, 2014 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

It is understood that Andrew's sheriff Rick Grimes, will be phased out of the show in the upcoming season 9, much like Lauren Cohen's Maggie Greene. Despite her attempts at renegotiating her deal regarding her salary, the conversation reportedly went south, but luckily for her, she landed the starring role in ABC's 'Whiskey Cavalier.' 

Rick's departure from the show would put a huge dent in the franchise, which is based on Robert Kirkman's comic series by the same name. The sheriff is the hero in the comic book universe, and his absence in the TV universe may make things confusing and problematic.  

Then again, Rick's son Carl Grimes, played by Chandler Riggs on the show, is well and alive in the comic books, but the showrunners killed him off in the show. This constant mixing up of things has not really affected the show's appeal in any way, so we can rest assured Rick's absence will not have too much of a negative impact on the show.  

On the bright side, Norman's beloved Daryl will now get all the spotlight, which may actually be a reason to celebrate.