Warning: Potential spoilers follow for the remainder of The Walking Dead's second season.
An ad on the AMC website appears to have inadvertently answered long-running questions about the fate of a major character on The Walking Dead.
The description on the cable network website for a limited-edition Season 2 Blu-ray set listed among its bonus features "Shane's last episode," confirming what many have suspected since at least late January, when news emerged that star Jon Bernthal was in talks to join Frank Darabont's TNT pilot L.A. Noir. Darabont is of course the former showrunner of The Walking Dead whose unceremonious firing in July was said to have shocked the cast and crew.
AMC removed the Blu-ray listing (you can see it below) and issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter last night saying, "The post on the AMC store was completely unauthorized. The matter is currently under investigation."
The death of Shane won't come as a big surprise to readers of the comic series, where the character died in the sixth issue -- before the survivors made it to the Greene farm. Even without that knowledge, though, viewers of the television series could see the writing on the wall, as the increasingly volatile Shane has been on an accelerated collision course with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) the entire second season, with the two finally coming to blows in this week's episode.
Just last month Executive Producer Robert Kirkman played down Bernthal's potential casting in L.A. Noir as an indication of his character's fate on The Walking Dead, saying, “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.”
Or, in the case of Shane Walsh, maybe he dies in the Season 2 finale? There are only three more episodes before we find out for sure.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.