Any “The Walking Dead” fan worth his or her salt knows that the Season 6 finale will contain the highly anticipated debut of actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the notorious comic book villain Negan. While fans are certainly excited to see one of the most interesting parts of the comics come to life, all the questions now have to do with how the actor will portray the foul-mouthed leader of the Saviors when the time comes.
Previously, Morgan has made it clear that he’s got big shoes to fill given how much the comic book version of the character impacted the larger story and all of the characters that fans had come to know and love when he arrived in issue #100. However, as Glenn actor Steven Yeun previously told Entertainment Weekly, the AMC show and Robert Kirkman’s source material don’t necessarily follow each other closely enough for readers to know everything that’s going to happen. Given the fact that Negan’s biggest claim to fame is his foul mouth, which can’t be a part of the cable series for obvious reasons, Morgan will have to find a new way to make the character unique. According to “The Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd, the way the actor will do that is through his natural charm.
“Anyone who loves Negan from the comic books will literally be cheering. They won’t be able to sit down at home or wherever they are. I think they’ll stand up and cheer,” Hurd told Us Weekly at a SXSW event. “He’s a completely different kind of character than we’ve had in the past, and honestly, I cannot imagine someone more perfect than Jeffrey Dean Morgan to bring him to life. [Negan is] formidable, but he’s incredibly charismatic, and he acknowledges who he is and what he expects from people.”
It seems that Morgan will compensate for the character’s rough verbal exterior by portraying a menacing charm when the time comes to wreak havoc on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his intrepid group of survivors. Although he's expected to debut in the finale, Hurd said that the bulk of his performance will take place in Season 7. According to CinemaBlend, the actor previously revealed that he thought of it as an interesting challenge to step away from his typical cadre of good guy roles and portray someone that's borderline evil.
“I’ve kind of become accustomed to playing sort of the good guy,” he said. “You know, maybe a rough exterior with a heart of gold in there somewhere. I think the challenge for me in this role is going to be: Is there any heart in Negan?”
“The Walking Dead” Season 6 has two episodes left, with the arrival of Negan expected at a some point in the finale. Are you excited for the series’ new villain? Comment below or tweet your best Negan thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.