While there are currently no plans, Jon Bernthal seems somewhat open to returning as Shane in spinoff series Fear The Walking Dead. Shane Walsh was a major character on the first two seasons of The Walking Dead; he was Rick’s best friend and partner, and took Rick's wife Lori and son Carl to safety following the zombie outbreak. He began an affair with Lori when they both believed Rick was dead, leading to tensions when Rick returned and took control of the group.
Shane grew colder during season two, believing the only way for the group to survive was to have no mercy. He attempted to kill Rick in the finale, only for Rick to kill him instead. Despite being off The Walking Dead for years, Shane is considered one of the best characters to have appeared on the show, thanks to Bernthal’s sympathetic performance. Shane’s legacy is still felt too, and Rick believes he’s the likely father of Judith. Shane last appeared in a cameo during season three, where a confused Rick briefly thinks an approaching gunman is his former partner.
Bernthal’s career has gone from strength to strength since then, so he’s not hurting for work. During a new interview with The Daily Express, the actor was asked if he’d consider returning as Shane in Fear The Walking Dead, which is set in the early days of the outbreak. While Bernthal doesn’t slam the door on the concept, he doesn’t make it sound very likely either.
I loved Shane and whilst I’m super grateful I got to do that, he was a character that had a beginning, middle and end, and I got a whole rounded opportunity. I feel like we’ve seen all we need to see of Shane. If we got to see him backwards - that would be interesting. But Shane died in that field. Doing the show and being killed off the show are two of the best things that have happened in my career.”
Bernthal makes a good point regarding Shane’s arc, so any potential appearance on Fear The Walking Dead would require a really juicy storyline. Looking back on the timeline it's tricky to see where such an appearance could happen too, but if Bernthal was willing, the producers would likely find a way. Lennie James’ Morgan will appear on the show during its fourth season, which has further opened the doors to characters from either series crossing over to one another.
Bernthal is coming off the back of Netflix's The Punisher series, where he received praise for his turn as Frank Castle. He’s also got a busy film career, having appeared in Baby Driver, Wind River and The Accountant in recent years. Some kind of cameo on Fear The Walking Dead might be fun, but unless the idea is really solid, it runs the risk of being a nostalgic gimmick to boost the show’s ratings.
Source: The Daily Express