Jon Bernthal to Return to The Walking Dead

Jon Bernthal The Walking DeadThe Punisher himself, Jon Bernthal, is set to reprise his role as Shane Walsh in the upcoming ninth season on The Walking Dead, according to an article by The Hollywood Reporter.

Those who follow the show will know that Bernthal’s character, Shane, already turned into a walker back in the second season, after a violent argument between him and Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln.) Once zombie-fied, he was almost immediately put down by Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs). A lot has happened on the show since then. Carl is dead too and a recent report confirmed that Andrew Lincoln will be leaving the show next season as well. There were no details revealed about the manner of Jon Bernthal’s return though given the way The Walking Dead plays with timelines these days, it would be very easy for him to appear in either a flashback or a hallucination of some kind. Given Lincoln’s exit, I think Bernthal’s appearance might play into the farewell for the character, who has played the lead of the show for the last eight seasons. Maggie Rhee (played by Lauren Cohan) is also set to leave the show in the next season.

Season nine of The Walking Dead has had some major behind-the-scenes changes as well, with Angela Kang as the new showrunner while Scott M. Gimple will now oversee the whole Walking Dead franchise.

THR adds:

“Bernthal’s role as a series regular on Netflix’s The Punisher, in which he plays Marvel antihero Frank Castle, limits how many episodes he could appear in on Walking Dead, as the standard rule is three.”

Jon Bernthal has been pretty busy since his stint in the zombie drama, not just appearing as The Punisher in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil and his first standalone season, but also landing roles in films like FurySicarioThe AccountantWind RiverBaby Driver, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Walking Dead season nine will premiere in the fall on AMC.