The Walking Dead Executive Producer Robert Kirkman and star Jon Bernthal are being predictably cagey about what reports of the actor’s casting in L.A. Noir might mean for his character’s future on the AMC drama.
The TNT crime pilot would reunite Bernthal with ousted Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont, seemingly lending credence to months-old gossip that one upset cast member had asked to be released from his or her contract following the producer’s departure.
But Kirkman, who killed off Shane in the sixth issue of the comic series, shrugged off the casting report as indication the explosive character won’t survive the second season.
“Last year Lenny James was on The Walking Dead, Human Target and Hung as well as doing a show in the U.K. for the BBC,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not unusual these days for people to be on multiple shows at the same time. The way shooting schedules work for cable, it really does open doors for that. The Walking Dead stopped shooting in early November and doesn’t resume until almost summer, so there’s a huge gap in there for people to do other projects. I wouldn’t let any casting rumors make you think that it’s spoiled any show, especially this one. In the case of Jon Bernthal, who’s to say he survives that first pilot? Maybe he dies in the first episode.”
Bernthal was even more evasive, sidestepping a question from GQ as to whether he landed the lead role on L.A. Noir.
“Listen, man, there’s not so much I can say about it,” he said. “All I can say is ‘My, oh my.’ The idea that I could potentially work with Frank again just thrills the hell out of me. It would be such an honor. But there’s nothing I can say right now. I love the man with all my heart though.”