Well, this is a little bit out of left field. Yes, as the headline suggests, Jon Bernthal is returning to The Walking Dead.
TV Line broke the news, with Bernthal reprising his role of Shane Walsh. And no, you’re not mistaken, Shane was indeed killed off at the end of the genre juggernaut’s second season.
The hugely talented Punisher actor will be back for at least one episode, with there being a good chance that this could somehow tie in with the departure of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. If you remember, it was Rick who first “killed” Shane, with the character then briefly coming back as a walker before being put down once and for all by Carl.
It could well be that Shane appears in either a flashback or in some sort of hallucination. With Lincoln set to appear in only six more episodes of The Walking Dead before departing the series mid-way through the show’s upcoming ninth season, it seems like some sort of hallucination process could play out should Rick’s exit also involve him being killed off. We’ve seen some brilliant trippy hallucinations before when certain characters have been taking their last breaths, and having former best friend Shane turn up in Rick’s final moments seems likely and slightly fitting. How Jon Bernthal’s Shane is used, of course, is merely speculation at this point.
In addition to Lincoln leaving the series, fellow mainstay Lauren Cohan will also be departing The Walking Dead during this next season; with Cohan again reported to appear in just six more episodes.
As ever, expect more on all things The Walking Dead as the ninth season continues to develop. Safe to say, it certainly looks to be a season that will be shaking the very foundations of this massive fan favourite show.