Spoilers below about a potential cast exit from The Walking Dead below!
Variety reports that Jon Bernthal, who plays Shane on The Walking Dead, is in negotiations to join the TNT period drama L.A. Noir, which will be helmed by former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont. Darabont's pilot for L.A. Noir is said to be incredibly ambitious, a compelling look at the 1940s-50s conflict between mob boss Micky Cohen and L.A. chief of police William Parker, based on the book by John Buntin. You can read all about the show here.
Bernthal would play Joe Teague, the cop at the center of the show. Darabont wrote the pilot and will direct it for TNT. Although I honestly believe The Walking Dead has improved (relatively) with Darabont's exit, I still think he's a very strong filmmaker and writer, and L.A. Noir could be the right vehicle for him, where The Walking Dead simply wasn't. But man, Shane is by far the most interesting part of The Walking Dead, and if he leaves to join a new show run by Darabont, who split with AMC in a very publicly contentious manner, it's going to be messy--but super fun to watch. Of course, in the comics (spoilers!) Shane was killed off within the first trade, so Bernthal's continued presence on the show is testament to how much more fascinating of a character he's made Shane than supposed protagonist Rick (Andrew Lincoln) or anyone else on the series. His demise is already tidily written in the comics, and with his new darker arc starting with Otis' death, should be easy to enact. But it will also be a huge bummer for the show, and if Bernthal leaves for L.A. Noir, I'll quickly find myself much more interested in that show than I am in The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead returns February 12 on AMC, and of course Henri, Devin and I will be back to write it up for TV Talk.