Jeffrey Dean Morgan cast in major Walking Dead role


(Potential spoilers for The Walking Dead “ the TV show, that is“ upcoming; consider yourself warned.)

Ever since the happy-go-lucky gang made it to the community of Alexandria on The Walking Dead last season, fans familiar with the comics have been wondering when the other shoe would drop. Not much longer to wait for that, as The Hollywood Reporter is confirming that Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen, Supernatural and The Good Wife (to name a few) has been cast as Negan.

Negan was a big-time villain in the source material, the ongoing Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. He’s the series’ most well-known baddie, second perhaps only to the Governor – though he’s certainly more deadly. The character first appears in the hundredth issue of The Walking Dead, as the leader of a group called the Saviors who pose a threat to Alexandria. The foul-mouthed Negan captures a few of our heroes, including Rick Grimes.

Then Negan bashes in Glenn’s skull with a baseball bat wrapped in razor wire.

Morgan is expected to make his debut in the season six finale as a guest star before becoming a series regular in season seven. That episode will air later this year, directed by Greg Nicotero. Negan has been a regular part of the comic series since his debut, so his inclusion in the television adaptation was somewhat inevitable. Still, his inclusion raises some interesting questions about how much the series will stick to the comics moving forward.

As most Walking Dead viewers no doubt know by now, Steven Yuen’s Glenn Rhee was seemingly devoured by a horde of zombies in an episode a couple of weeks back, “Thank You.” That episode has set off all manner of fan-theorizing and speculating ways that the character could still be alive, and the two episodes that have aired since have been evasive about answering the question definitively. If those fans are right and Glenn is still somehow alive, it’s possible he won’t be around much longer.

That said, this wouldn’t be the first time the show has taken liberties with the source material, especially in terms of the characters it kills off or keeps around. Jon Berenthal’s Shane survived far longer in the series than he did in the comics, while Jeffrey DeMunn’s Dale was killed off far earlier – only for the show to bring the circumstances of his comics death back to knock off Jawrence Gilliard Jr. last season.

Regardless, Negan’s introduction means there are likely some big things on the horizon for The Walking Dead, potentially including death-by-baseball-bat and an all-out war.

[via THR]