March 01, 2012 5:10pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Walking Dead' DVD Ad Reveals Major Season 2 Spoiler
[Warning: This story contains a potential spoiler about The Walking Dead.]
AMC may have inadvertently spoiled the upcoming three remaining episodes in Season 2 of The Walking Dead.
An ad on the cable network's website offering a preorder of the sophomore year of the zombie drama's limited-edition Blu-ray set supports a widely speculated theory that Jon Bernthal's renegade character Shane won't survive the season.
Behold the spoiler-filled line from the product description: " … bonus features such as: the making of the barn, an extended zombie gut scene, Shane's last episode …"
Rumors have swirled that Shane wouldn't live to see Season 3 of the zombie drama based on the comics created by Robert Kirkman since reports surfaced in January that Bernthal was circling former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont's TNT pilot, L.A. Noir.
Kirkman downplayed the Bernthal rumors in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in early February, noting that it wasn't uncommon for actors to appear on the AMC series as well as other projects because of the show's summer shooting schedule.
"I wouldn't let any casting rumors make you think that it's spoiled any show, especially this one," he told THR. "In the case of Jon Bernthal, who's to say he survives that first pilot? Maybe he dies in the first episode."
Shane's death would not come as a big surprise to readers of Kirman's Image/Skybound comic series, as the character died early in the series.
In L.A. Noir, which TNT picked up to pilot in January, Bernthal would play Joe Teague, the LAPD cop at the heart of the series that revolves around the police force's pursuit of mobster Mickey Cohen.
Darabont, who was instrumental in adapting the zombie drama from the comics, was ousted and replaced as showrunner in July, just days after representing the series at San Diego Comic-Con. His sudden departure took many, including Bernthal, by surprise, with speculation that one cast member wanted out of his or her contract.
Walking Dead exec producers Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero told The Hollywood Reporter in January that there will be more death to come when the series returned for the second half of its sophomore year Feb. 12.
The series has become a valuable property for AMC, setting basic-cable viewership records with both its Season 2 premiere and midseason return last month.
"The post on the AMC store was completely unauthorized. The matter is currently under investigation," an AMC spokesperson said in a statement without elaborating. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray set has been removed from the AMC store and the link now leads to a dead page.