According to several reports, The Walking Dead season 9 may be the final curtain call for Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. But if Rick is really on his way out, then he may be seeing his oldest friend one last time. Jon Bernthal is reprising his role as Shane Walsh for the first time in nearly seven years.
Via Deadline, the news of Bernthal's return to The Walking Dead came after he was spotted near the set earlier this month. At the end of season 2, Shane was killed, and then subsequently killed again when he turned into a zombie. So, we can safely rule out a return in the flesh. But The Walking Dead has previously used flashbacks to bring back dead characters. We could potentially see some of Rick and Shane's pre-apocalyptic days before they were literally at each others' throats.
However, Rick isn't exactly the picture of mental health and he does have a history of hallucinations while wrestling with his grief. As you can see in the GIF above, Bernthal briefly reprised his role in the third season as a vision that made Rick question his sanity. We suspect Bernthal's latest stint on the show will be more substantial if he's filming for multiple days.
Because Bernthal is starring in Marvel and Netflix's The Punisher, he's only allowed to appear in three episodes of another series under standard TV contract rules. However, Deadline is theorizing that Bernthal may be a surprise guest at the annual Walking Dead panel during San Diego Comic-Con next month.
Are you excited to see Bernthal back on The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comment section below!