The honeymoon, as the saying goes, is over. The characters in AMC’s The Walking Dead don’t know just how good they’ve had it in the first six seasons of the show, but all of that is about to change. It’s been long-rumored and honestly a pretty horribly kept secret that the biggest, baddest villain yet to grace the pages of The Walking Dead comics, Negan, would appear on the show at some point. That eventuality is one step closer to reality as Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast as Negan, the leader of the Saviors.
After months of rumor, speculation, and Internet sleuthing, Jeffrey Dean Morgan will arrive in the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead in the season 6 finale. AMC seems to love to end their seasons with cliffhangers or other uncomfortable moments, and Negan and his trusty barbed wire bat Lucille are more than up to that challenge. I’ll leave any spoilers at the end in a clearly marked spoiler area, so please feel free to continue reading until that point if you’ve not read the comics and don’t want any possible story lines spoiled.
Morgan (Jeffrey Dean, not Lennie James’ character) comes to the show with plenty of TV experience, but even better, he’s got comic adaptation experience. You might remember Morgan played Edward Blake/The Comedian in Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of Watchmen. In albeit a limited sample size, Morgan really nailed the personality and character of Edward Blake, and there are at least a few parallels between Blake and the vicious Negan for Morgan to draw from.
***WARNING – BELOW THAR BE SPOILERS***
Have you been sufficiently warned? Last chance to bail…just skip this section entirely if you don’t want potential parts of the story spoiled for you. The end of Spoiler Territory is clearly marked, just continue reading after that if you don’t want spoilers. You’ve been warned, here we go. Negan first appears in issue 100 of The Walking Dead comics and wastes no time showing the kind of person he is. His group, The Saviors, have some similarities to mob enforcers – offering “protection” for communities that are willing to pay for their services. Of course when those same communities can’t pay, The Saviors have no problem killing the inhabitants and taking what they want anyway. The Saviors have an immediate negative impact on Rick’s group, and Negan in particular does some really horrible things to a fan favorite – who many thought could have died in a recent episode of the show. From my perspective, I don’t believe that Glenn is dead on the show, but if he is it’s only because the show runners didn’t think they could get away with showing what Negan does to him in the comics on TV. We’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.
OK, we’re back. In my opinion, Morgan is a great casting choice for Negan. He may not fit the look quite as much as a few of the other rumored considerations (Jon Hamm would have been a great choice based on looks alone). but I honestly feel as though he’ll do the character justice. Negan is a horrible person, but I believe Morgan will be able to pull it off. We’ll catch our first glimpse of Negan in the season 6 finale, and he should have a fairly significant role in season 7 as the main group’s antagonist.
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[button link=”http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-negan-jeffrey-dean-836243″ icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Hollywood Reporter[/button]