SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses AMC’s The Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed all available episodes and wish to avoid spoilers.
For fans of the Walking Dead comics, the arrival of the comic bad guy, Negan, was something to look forward to. However, when the character finally made his TV debut, viewers were quickly turned off by the character. AMC now speaks out about how fans reacted and their response to the character.
According to Cinema Blend, AMC’s bosses have admitted that the hit zombie apocalypse TV series lost viewers as a direct result of Negan’s appearance, citing the character as being “too hopeless” for fans.
“We’ve done a lot of research on the response to it and we certainly have our own thoughts about it. It’s true to say that that season with Negan [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] became a little too hopeless for audiences. I think that there was creative intention behind it that was really smart and thoughtful, but I think it probably pushed people to a place where it was a lot to take at a time when maybe people just didn’t want to see that.”
When Negan first appeared in The Walking Dead, two fan-favorite characters, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun), were killed. Subsequent control by Negan’s group over Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group led to a war and Negan’s eventual capture. While the potential was there to kill off a character that didn’t resonate with audiences, AMC decided to keep Negan around, much in the way in which his story played out in the comic book series on which AMC’s series is based.
As a result of this, since Negan fell from being the big bad in The Walking Dead, his character has come a long way to being redeemed by viewers. As he befriended Judith (Cailey Fleming) and then Lydia (Cassady McClincy), a softer side of Negan has been revealed and it is one that fans seem to favor. However, as Season 10 continues, it is unclear if Negan has resorted to his old ways and has sided with the new antagonists, the Whisperers, or whether it is a ruse in order to prove himself to those in the communities who still distrust him. Viewers will have to tune in when Season 10 returns in order to find out more.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the actor who plays Negan is eager for a movie based on his backstory to be developed. However, as yet, it is unclear if AMC has anything in development regarding a movie for Negan.
Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead will return on February 23.