There’s a wicked storm coming to the remaining survivors on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” in the form of a vile new villain plucked directly from the pages of creator Robert Kirkman’s original comic series. Now, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan officially bringing Negan to life in Season 6, the actor is finally addressing how the show will adapt the foul-mouthed comic book character.
Speaking at 2015 New York Comic Con, Kirkman revealed that one of the reasons he created Negan in the first place was to silence comic book critics. As the TV series became more popular in its early seasons, the writer was afraid he’d be accused of dumbing down his source material to make it more TV-friendly. Despite the AMC show only being loosely based on the events of Kirkman’s comics, the writer decided to create something uniquely unadaptable to TV -- the potty mouthed and ultra-violent Negan. Ironically, he became such an impossibly popular villain that the series couldn’t avoid him. With the character’s name having officially been introduced into the show’s canon, the time has come to figure out how to bring a character to TV that was designed as a reaction against TV.
Unfortunately, as those who read the comics will know, Negan’s constant swearing is more than just a quirk, it’s kind of important to who he is as a villain. As a result, Morgan confessed to EW Radio that the character’s language is something they’re working on at AMC to find a way to make him true to the comic book but also safe for show’s already boundary pushing censors.
“Look, it’s a speed bump,” he said (via Vulture). “I’m not going to say it’s an issue because they’re working on it. We’re going to push AMC -- the plan is to push them as far as they can because it’s who Negan is. He uses some colorful language. And I use some colorful language. And reading the comic, it’s important. So we’ll see where that lands. It’s our intention that this character is going to leap off the pages of the comic book. It’s very important that that’s who it is. Some of the characters there’s much more leeway, but Negan is a guy that you want to keep as true as possible, and that would be how I want to play him as well.”
As previously reported, this isn’t the first time that Morgan has told the press he plans to keep his adaptation of the Negan character as true to the comics as possible. While that may make several fans fear for the life of one fan-favorite character on the show, it’s worth noting that the events of the TV series aren’t necessarily similar to that of the comics. As a result, Morgan’s Negan has the potential to do a cavalcade of horrible and surprising things before his time on “The Walking Dead” is done.