THE WALKING DEAD Star in Talks to Topline Frank Darabont’s TNT Series L.A. NOIR

     January 23, 2012

Talk about a doozy. A certain star from AMC’s immensely popular zombie series The Walking Dead is now in early negotiations to join ex-Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont’s new period crime drama show at TNT. As this likely means said Walking Dead castmember won’t survive past the current second season, I’m keeping things spoiler-free here on the front page. Darabont was shockingly fired from the smash hit cable series after sparring with AMC over budget cuts and creative issues concerning the record-breaking show, but quickly recovered and is now working on a new series.

The Shawshank Redemption filmmaker wasted absolutely no time moving on, as we reported earlier this month that he’s set up an incredibly ambitious pilot at TNT called L.A. Noir. The show takes place in 1940s L.A. and chronicles the battle between the Los Angeles police and mobster Mickey Cohen. If you want to know, hit the jump to find out which Walking Dead castmember may be headed for the exit door. Be forewarned MAJOR SPOILERS for The Walking Dead lie after the jump.

Again, if you don’t want to know about a major castmember that may be leaving The Walking Dead, turn back now. MAJOR SPOILERS follow below.

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jon-bernthal-walking-deadVariety reports that none other than Jon Bernthal is in early conversations with TNT to star in its period drama pilot. Bernthal plays perpetuate douche Shane on The Walking Dead, and his exit would be a huge shocker. He’s the second male lead on the show and is the series’ main villain. The character doesn’t survive in the graphic novel series, so the move isn’t entirely out of the blue, but fans should be sufficiently surprised if he is indeed killed off. Shane’s nefariousness only recently escalated to supervillain quality on the show, and I was looking forward to seeing him take off in that direction for the foreseeable future.

In L.A. Noir, Bernthal would play Joe Teague, the Los Angeles cop who acts as the show’s protagonist. Teague examines corruption in the LAPD and ties between police and underworld figures. The pilot has already been greenlit, and Darabont wrote and will direct the first episode. Though the series mines the same territory as the upcoming film Gangster Squad, it’s excellent material for long-form television and should make for some great storytelling. Bernthal hasn’t officially signed on yet, and negotiations are in the early stages, but one imagines that if he’s killed off of The Walking Dead he’d like to reunite with his former showrunner on a new, high-profile series.

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