The Walking Dead mystery of whether Negan would appear on the TV series and who would play him has long been solved, but Walking Dead fans are still waiting to see Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in action. Entertainment Weekly dropped a hint today it may be sooner than fans think. As in, buckle your seat belt for this Sunday’s installment of The Walking Dead.
In case you missed the spoilers alert in the headline, more spoilers follow.
Walking Dead fans waited through multiple seasons for confirmation that Negan would make the jump from the comic books to the TV series, and his existence in the televised version debuted last week, sort of. When Daryl (Norman Reedus), Sasha (Sonequa Martin), and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) ran into a menacing motorcycle gang blocking the roadway, Negan wasn’t with them, but the hostile group informed the trio that all their property now belonged to Negan. Or so they said right before Daryl blew them to smithereens.
Whose property is it, boys? They never learn not to mess with Daryl. Or Abraham. Or Sasha, for that matter.
Anyway, Negan wasn’t with his merry band of robbers, and with Season 6 past the midway point, many Walking Dead fans are growing impatient waiting for this villain. Many may interpret this little spoiler from EW as a clear reference to the long-awaited Negan.
“A familiar face from the comics makes his (or her!) debut during Sunday’s episode, but that certainly won’t be the most shocking moment — in fact, even comic book fans probably won’t see this twist coming. “
Will it finally be Negan? Or will The Walking Dead team throw us a curve and introduce someone else from the comic books this episode, as fans are so focused on Negan at this time? The Walking Dead writers are tricky with how they deceive and misdirect fans at times — Glen’s “death,” anyone? — but this probably refers to Negan. Having said that, Comic Book Resources named two other cast members EW might be referring to in this spoiler.
The first possibility is Jesus (Tom Payne), and no, not that Jesus, coming down from heaven. In The Walking Dead comics, “Jesus,” aka Paul Monroe, gets his nickname from his long-haired, bearded look and his penchant for saving people. But make no mistake, he’s one of the bad guys in the comics.
The other new character Walking Dead fans are still waiting for this season is Gregory (Xander Berkeley). Gregory is yet another bad guy in the comic series, if you can imagine that, because there certainly aren’t enough villains in the zombie apocalypse.
Regardless of when any of these new characters arrive, Morgan made it clear that fans should not expect the nastiness of Negan to be diluted in any way in the transition between comics and television, or at least not any more than what the TV censors will insist upon. But Morgan told EW that The Walking Dead producers and writers are pushing to take the language to the limits.
“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.”
While The Walking Dead television series is known to twist and mix elements from the books, there’s also a hint that one particular moment involving Negan may come straight from the comics. In the comics, Negan beats Glenn to death with “Lucille,” his baseball bat covered in barbed wire. Walking Dead fans have long feared for this moment, with Glenn (Steven Yeun) dodging various deaths several times, including the notorious fake death scene this season. But could The Walking Dead writers throw fans a new twist by actually following the comics this time?
Reports are circulating that this season’s finale will be the most brutal episode ever, and that is saying something. In another Walking Dead interview with EW, Lauren Cohan, who plays Glenn’s wife Maggie, made the most menacing comment about the upcoming finale, resurrecting the rumors that Glenn may die at the hands of Negan, after all.
“[Hearing] the word ‘finale’ gives me a physical reaction because it’s the hardest day on set that I’ve ever had in my life. I never even imagined that, as an actor, you could have that experience. It’s one of the most raw experiences that I think any of us have ever had. Andy [Lincoln] talks about being late to work; I didn’t want to go to work that day. It took a really, really long time for everybody to feel OK again after the finale, let’s put it that way.”
As to the second half of that Walking Dead spoiler, it looks like the more shocking scene might be a long awaited hookup in Rick’s group. No, we aren’t talking Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride), but rumor has it Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) will finally make a love connection. Geez, Rick, Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) isn’t even cold yet from last week, if that’s true.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9 p.m. ET.
[Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP]