There have been some very bad people on AMC’s The Walking Dead over the last five seasons, but Season 6 might reveal a character arguably considered to be the biggest bad of the entire series. Sure, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and company are currently tucked away in the relative safe-zone of Alexandria, Virginia, but it’s still a big, wide world and there are still some nasty people in it. One of the nastiest may make an appearance at the end of the upcoming season by way of cameo as the Big Bad for Season 7, and none other than Jon Hamm might end up playing him. Now’s a great time to share the necessary spoiler warning, since we’ll delve into comic book territory from here on out.
Before we get to Season 7, we obviously have to get through Season 6. There are plenty of hazards and obstacles complicating the journey of our intrepid group of post-apocalyptic heroes, but if they can work things out in Alexandria, maybe they can find some allies and some peace of mind. We’ve already gotten word of a few newcomers to this season, namely Ethan Embry, Merritt Wever, and Corey Hawkins. Embry plays Carter, who is described by showrunner Scott M. Gimple as a composite of several different characters from the graphic novels that haven’t been introduced yet. Denise, played by Wever, is another major character in the graphic novels who acts as the town’s doctor and surgeon, and is in a relationship with Heath (Hawkins). I mention these characters because they serve as important introductions before getting to as-of-yet unconfirmed additions: Jesus/Paul Monroe, and Negan.
In an interview with EW a few weeks back, Gimple shared his thoughts on the possibility of Negan making an appearance sooner than later on the show:
“It’s absolutely a possibility, and when I say it’s a possibility, we have a plan in place, but there’s a couple variables for that plan that we’re deciding about. It really depends on a few factors as we move into setting up the last bit of the season story-wise.”
It sounds like we’ll certainly be meeting Negan, but just when (and who will play him) are likely things the production team is still attempting to firm up. Without giving away any comic or potential TV series spoilers, let’s just say that Negan is quite possibly the most brutal, savage, and violent character to appear in the series. With that in mind, Rick is probably going to need an ally (or 200!) if he wants to go toe-to-toe with Negan and his followers. So it goes to follow that Paul Monroe, aka Jesus, should also make an appearance this season as part of the Hilltop Colony if we’re taking the road that leads to Negan.
Robert Kirkman followed up this line of thought by saying:
“When it comes to characters like The Governor, Michonne, Abraham, and others like Jesus and Negan who are fan-favorite characters in the comics, it’s always a challenge to get it right because it’s those characters—much like Rick Grimes in the beginning—that fans already have a sense of and expectations for. So we’re always careful, and I feel like we’ve done a really good job servicing those fan expectations. Hopefully that trend will continue…if the characters you mention are to appear soon.”
If and when Negan arrives, expect a lot of death to follow. I’m talking Game of Thrones-level death. And you should be prepared to see it all happen at the hands of Jon Hamm, if the casting works out. Hamm teased the possibility of him playing Negan in an interview with MTV a while back:
Hamm playing the savage Negan would certainly be a departure from Don Draper’s suave and sophisticated air, or even The Falcon’s campy super-spy skills. I’d be thrilled to see Hamm in the role, but I also trust the creative team of The Walking Dead to cast the best people for the part. Oh, and in case you’re wondering (like I was) just how you pronounce “Negan”, Kirkman himself was kind enough to confirm:
— Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman) August 21, 2015
Rick & Co. may survive whatever befalls them in Alexandria, but it remains a complicated world on the outside of those walls. We’ll see how it all shakes down when Season 6 of The Walking Dead debuts on AMC Sunday, October 11th at 9pm.