[Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the Walking Dead comics]
The Walking Dead loves heaping punishment on its characters, and now the protagonists (it seems a stretch to call anyone on this show a “hero”) will have a major new threat to face that fans of the comics know all too well (and have predicted for some time thanks to comments from star Andrew Lincoln and the recent casting of Tom Payne as Paul Monroe).
According to THR, Negan is coming to the series, and he’ll be played by the talented Jeffrey Dean Morgan. For those who don’t read the books, Negan is the foul-mouthed leader of survivors called the Saviors, who run “protection” against weaker communities in exchange for food supplies. In the comics, he also killed Glenn (Glenn’s fate in the show has become maddeningly vague to fans over the last two weeks), has a harem of women that used to be the wives of his followers, and his weapon of choice is a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire (he affectionately names the object “Lucille”).
Other actors considered for the role included Timothy Olyphant, Matt Dillon, and Garret Dillahunt, among others, but you can see the common thread—actors who have a little bit of name recognition but aren’t out of a cable TV show’s price range. Negan is a major character, and AMC is making the appropriate investment. Morgan’s always a great addition to any cast, and he’s no stranger to comic book adaptations having previously played the Comedian in Watchmen and playing Thomas Wayne in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
So for Walking Dead fans, is this who you would have cast as Negan? The character is schedule to appear in the season six finale, but is that soon enough? And should his introduction and his involvement in Glenn’s death closely mirror the books? Sound off in the comments section.