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.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic shut down production for AMC on their Walking Dead franchise, producer, director, and special effects artist, Greg Nicotero, had been regularly updating fans on the status of the various series. Now, he has also revealed to viewers a storyline that was suggested but later rejected.
According to an interview Nicotero did with Collider, an early suggestion saw Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead. At this point in the hit zombie apocalypse series, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) had captured Negan and slit his throat. However, he had purposely avoided major trauma in an effort to capture the villain and have him incarcerated at Alexandria.
During the early stages of developing the episode, Nicotero had propositioned that “Maggie should either kill Negan or shoot Negan or do something because she’s right there.”
“I said it’s really a hard moment to shoot knowing that Maggie collapses to her knees because Rick spares Negan’s life. And I sort of had pitched this idea to [Scott] Gimple; I’m like, ‘Why doesn’t Maggie shoot him? Why doesn’t Maggie kill him?'”
To have Maggie shoot Negan would have given viewers a satisfactory end to the character who had caused so much destruction at the time. In addition, he had killed Maggie’s husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun), so it would make sense to have her so angry that she would take his life.
However, it was decided to not go ahead with that storyline.
“And, you know, obviously, Negan’s character had more of a journey and there was a lot more going on,” Nicotero explained further.
That decision had ultimately paid out off The Walking Dead. As a result, Negan had grown considerably as a character after being captured by Rick. He then formed a bond with Rick’s daughter, Judith (Cailey Fleming) and had contributed to the communities. Later, he was freed by Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and sent on a mission to kill Alpha (Samantha Morton), who was the head of the current protagonists, the Whisperers. Negan had also become a fan-favorite character with many fans.
As for how Negan’s story will continue when The Walking Dead returns remain to be seen. Currently, viewers are waiting for further news from AMC regarding when the Season 10 finale episode will air after social distancing rules prevented post-production work from being completed on the episode.