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Darbont, who was instrumental in adapting the zombie drama from Robert Kirkman’s 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.
In L.A. Noir, which TNT picked up to pilot earlier this month, 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 will write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce the period drama alongside The Social Network producer Michael De Luca and Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales). Alissa Phillips (Moneyball) will serve as co-executive producer.
It’s unclear whether Bernthal, should he land the Noir gig, depart Walking Dead.
Bernthal’s Shane has become a major player on AMC’s Walking Dead (he was killed off early in the comic series), with his character serving as a major source of conflict within the group of zombie apocalypse survivors.
Halfway through Season 2, Shane has divided the group in two, with several wanting to split from the pack and venture out under his often-reckless direction, while others look to remain under the careful leadership of Andrew Lincoln‘s Rick Grimes.
Walking Dead exec producers Robert Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month that there will be more death to come when the series returns for the second half of its sophomore year Feb. 12.
Walking Dead has already been renewed for a third season. AMC and TNT declined comment.
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Robert De Niro