What a time to be alive – or dead in this case. OG The Walking Dead cast member Jon Bernthal is returning in the next season, after being killed AND shot in the head! That is it, folks. We officially have the answer to beating death: money. Well, at least that’s the answer to deaths on The Walking Dead and a cause for some characters recently.
We did a story a few weeks back about leading man Andrew Lincoln leaving the show after 9 seasons. AMC’s response is to bring back Jon Bernthal as Shane to curb declining ratings. Lincoln has been the show’s leading man for almost a decade now, and the reasons behind his departure are unconfirmed. However, it is being said that traveling from his family in London to Georgia for years is a factor. Another factor could be what the actor calls “an endless story”. Lincoln said:
There’s certainly an endgame in my head. Whether or not that’s the same endgame that’s in the producers’ heads or the people I work with, is another matter.
Bernthal has created a movie career for himself since departing the show. He has starred in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Baby Driver, and Fury. Bernthal is gearing up for Season 2 of The Punisher Netflix series, so his episode count appears limited. He is said to be able to take on at least three episodes.
What is not confirmed is how Shane will return, as he was definitively killed in the Season 2 finale. Bernthal appeared to Rick as an apparition in Season 3 and that was it. They could either retcon Season 2, have him appear as hallucinations again, or do the ol’ reliable twin brother trope.
Everyone Has to Go at Some Point
The Fall of ‘The Walking Dead’
The Walking Dead has lost a lot of its viewership since killing off beloved character Glenn a few seasons ago. The latest death in the show was Rick’s son Carl, which many thought to be pointless. Lauren Cohan, another longtime cast member, is also making her exit off the show in Season 9. She is leaving her role as Maggie Rhee for a role in the upcoming Whiskey Cavalier on ABC. Unlike Lincoln, her reason for departure is said to be related to pay and wanting to be compensating what she’s worth.
Now that most of the original cast is gone or leaving, one of the two remaining Season 1 originals is getting the spotlight. Norman Reedus is rumored to be getting a big pay raise to be the leading man as Daryl. Besides him, the only Season 1 original left is Carol, and there are no reports on increased pay for her.
Questions like if Rick and Maggie will be recast or just written (likely killed) off will have to wait until The Walking Dead returns later this year.
What do you think about Shane coming back? Do you think the show is still good? Leave your comments!