Is it possible AMC have just cast the role of Negan in The Walking Dead, the much-anticipated “big bad” from the comic book series? Xander Berkeley (famous for his roles in shows like 24, Being Human, and Nikita) has just been cast for a super secret character in the popular zombie apocalypse series.
According to the announcement by Entertainment Weekly, Xander Berkeley will not appear in season 6 of The Walking Dead straight away, with fans having to “wait a little while before they feel his presence on the show.” AMC has also confirmed Xander’s character will not appear until the second half of season 6.
While many sites have been speculating Xander might take on the role of Negan, a character from the comic book series The Walking Dead is based on that is particularly nasty — especially to Glenn Rhee (played by Steven Yeun in the TV series). However, TV Line, who broke the news first, states that Xander Berkeley will not be playing Negan, rather a character similar in nature to Negan. TV Line states Xander’s character will share the same traits as Negan, including “narcissism, huge ego and self-preservation.” They also said Xander’s character is said to “relish the superiority that comes with being in control, but he plays it off with a car salesman-type charm.”
While no official name for Xander’s character has been released by AMC yet, TV Line did state that the character will be a recurring season 6 character. AMC must have big plans for the character though as Xander Berkeley’s contract comes with a “series-regular option for Season 7.” Nerdist suggests that Xander could be playing a character from the comics called Gregory. He is the leader of the Hilltop Colony, a place fans of the television series have not yet been introduced to but is within the vicinity of Alexandria. This character also bears somewhat of a resemblance to Xander Berkeley.
Casting call rumors surrounding Xander Berkeley’s character have been circulating for a while. TV Line recently announced the following information about the casting call that — at the time — was suspected to be a call out for the character of Negan:
“‘Rich’ as a fiftysomething narcissist who has an angry streak, a ‘Senator-like charm’ and the charisma of a car salesman.”
With ET Online also recently releasing exclusive on-set images of season 6 of The Walking Dead that probably show the comic book character Paul “Jesus” Monroe, it is likely fans will not see Negan properly until season 7 anyway, although many fans are speculating that AMC will give a teaser shot of Negan in the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, much like they did with Michonne (Danai Gurira) in the season 2 finale.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for season 6 on Sunday, October 11, 2015.
What do you think of this latest Walking Dead casting? Is season 6 big enough for two Negan-like characters? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
[Image credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison]