Could this be the year that “Walking Dead” fans meet the biggest comic book villain from Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse universe? Speculation about the arrival of Negan has been running rampant for years, but a new casting notice has viewers on high alert ahead of Season 6.
TVLine reports that the show is casting a character named “Rich.” The AMC series has a history of using fake names to cast well-known comic book characters. It’s Rich’s character description that has the Negan rumor mill going again.
According to the site, Rich is in his 50s and is a “narcissist” with an “angry streak.” But despite his hot head, he’s also said to have “senator-like charm.”
So, is the casting notice for the feared comic book villain? “Walking Dead” showrunner Scott M. Gimple commented in late July on the constant speculation surrounding the character.
“It’s absolutely a possibility,” he told Entertainment Weekly of introducing Negan in Season 6. “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.”
Fans of both the AMC show and Kirkman’s comic books know the series is getting close to Negan’s storyline. When the show left off, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group had just settled into the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Most of the survivors were trying to start a life within the walls, but Rick threatened their chance at normality with his fears of the threats that still remain outside. Alexandria leader Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) was getting the residents ready to vote about whether they should allow Rick’s group to stay when Pete (Corey Brill) accidentally killed Deanna’s husband, Reg (Steve Coulter). Deanna then gave Rick permission to kill Pete -- just in time for Morgan (Lennie James) to arrive with Daryl (Norman Reedus).
In the comics, Negan’s group – the Saviors – shows up at Alexandria shortly after Rick’s group arrives. The Saviors demand supplies and food in exchange for safety, but a run-in with Rick’s people outside the walls leaves some of Negan’s group members dead. Negan ultimately ends up retaliating, taking the life of a fan favorite character who has been with Rick’s band of survivors from the start.
“The Walking Dead” Season 6 premieres on AMC Sunday, Oct. 11, at 9 p.m. ET. Do you want Negan to arrive? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.