Dad's back. After leaving The Walking Dead in Season 9 following a decade of playing the former cop-turned-hardened survivor Rick Grimes, Andrew Lincoln has officially returned to the post-apocalypse in a behind-the-scenes image from the forthcoming Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) spinoff. The image posted yesterday and later confirmed by the official The Walking Dead Twitter account shows Lincoln walking out of his trailer on-location in New Jersey, confirming that production is underway on the highly-anticipated spinoff.

The return of Lincoln, and thus the return of Rick, is something fans have been hoping for ever since his departure. We see the apocalypse through his eyes when he first wakes up to the ruined world at the very beginning of the series, and he remained at the center of the show's universe throughout its run as he lost his wife, friends, and eventually, even his son Carl. He ultimately left the series with more questions than answers after surviving yet another seemingly deadly situation and being whisked away by the CRM.

So far, there aren't many details as to what the Rick and Michonne series is about other than the two characters and their relationship. Over the course of their time together, the two would grow closer and even get married until their eventual separation following Rick's rescue. At six episodes long, the spinoff looks to directly continue from where they left off with Michonne trying to reunite with her partner, so they can continue their own adventure through the apocalypse together. It also looks to directly explore the love they've built throughout their war against the undead and the living alike and the myriad ways they've been changed by the apocalypse.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) kneeling with her hand on Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) face in The Walking Dead
Image via AMC

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The untitled spinoff is being helmed by Scott M. Gimple with only Lincoln and Gurira attached as cast members. Another reason for fans to be excited, however, is that Gurira will be credited as a co-creator and is writing for the series, which she calls a "prestige miniseries."

Lincoln Has Led a Fruitful Career Since Playing Rick Grimes

Outside of The Walking Dead, Lincoln has gotten to flex his acting muscles with a few projects since leaving the show. Most recently, he got the chance to shine in an episode of Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities where he played the supportive bird-watching husband to Essie Davis in "The Murmuring." He also got to share the screen with Naomi Watts in Penguin Bloom for Netflix. Reuniting with Gurira projects to be one of his more heartfelt and intriguing turns to date, however, finally closing the book on the star-crossed romance that fans watched play out in the beloved zombie series.

The Walking Dead Rick and Michonne spinoff is due out in 2024. As production gets underway, check out the official behind-the-scenes shot of Lincoln's return to the franchise below and read the series' official synopsis.

This series presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead... And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they've ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive -- or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?