Andrew Lincoln may have left The Walking Dead as an actor (we'll see his final episode in Season 9), but he'll be back on the set surprisingly soon. Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly that he'll be heading back to Georgia shortly to learn a new trade that he will hopefully ply next season.

"I'm going back," says Lincoln. "I'm going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year."

Why return to the show he just left so soon after he went back to England to spend more time with his family? "I can't be that far away because I can't bear it," Lincoln says. "That's how much I am invested in the show and the continuation of the story."

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If the plan holds, Lincoln will be the third franchise actor to take a turn in the director's chair. Fear the Walking Dead's Colman Domingo directed an episode of that show, and Abraham portrayer Michael Cudlitz returned to direct the upcoming seventh episode of Season 9. (Maybe that's what Cudlitz was talking about when he tweeted "Crazy s--- is about to go down. See y'all on the other side" last year and made me think he was going to be the Fear the Walking Dead crossover character.)

In the meantime, Lincoln's final season as Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead kicks off Sunday, Oct. 7 at 9/8c on AMC.

Danai Gurira, Chloe Garcia and Andrew Lincoln,<em> The Walking Dead</em>Danai Gurira, Chloe Garcia and Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead