Fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead are well aware that it is based on an ongoing comic book series that preceded the show by a few years. However, most fans of the show, the Gore 4 among them, have only peripheral knowledge, if any, of what has gone down in the panels of Robert Kirkman’s comic, preferring to watch the TV series without any preconceived notions. And the producers of the show have enjoyed deviating from the comics as well, changing what, when and how characters die, and adding ones, like Daryl, that aren’t even in the comics. Occasionally, though, a comic character has such notoriety that word inevitably gets out in the mainstream before the character comes to life on the small screen, the Governor being the most glaring example of this. Now, a villain that supposedly makes the Governor look like Mary Poppins has been cast, and is scheduled to appear later in this sixth season, sometime in the Spring. It has been officially announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be playing the brutal, evil leader, Negan.
Morgan is a genre veteran, playing memorable characters in a number of popular shows. Longtime fans of the CW’s Supernatural will remember him as the Winchester brothers’ father in the show’s first season. He also had a run on Grey’s Anatomy, the Starz’ series, Magic City, and the last season of the sci-fi show, Extant this past summer. On the big screen, Morgan played Edward Blake, aka the Comedian, in the underrated masterpiece, Watchmen, and starred in The Losers and the horror film, The Possession. He’ll also play Bruce Wayne’s father in next year’s highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Currently, Morgan can be seen on CBS’ The Good Wife, however, that shouldn’t interfere with his new role on The Walking Dead. While most of his roles cast him as a mostly good guy, he usually plays someone world-weary with dark edges, as anyone who’s seen him on Supernatural, Extant or in Watchmen know. The Gore 4 thinks he is the perfect choice to play Negan. The show’s producers and casting people have to be applauded once again for finding great actors to play such pivotal roles, having already mined the cast of HBO’s acclaimed The Wire more than once.
It’s interesting that in playing The Walking Dead’s most notorious villain since the Governor, Morgan had a number of scenes in Extant opposite David Morrissey, who played the Governor, not always seeing eye to eye. It should also be noted **** kinda spoilers to follow **** that the character of Negan in the comics is tied to the fate of another who’s fate is up in the air on the show right now. How that may or may not factor in to what develops this season, we’ll have to see. One more thing to point out with regards to Negan, is that it appears as though his weapon of choice is that of a barb-wired baseball bat, which he dubs ‘Lucille’, certainly an implement of destruction that would be equally damaging to both human and non-human alike.
In the meantime, we are already five episodes into the first half of this sixth season of The Walking Dead, with three more to follow before the winter break. With a number of characters fates, especially one in particular, still unknown, and the town of Alexandria surrounded by a massive herd of walkers, there are plenty of threats for Rick and company to face before meeting maybe the most dangerous yet next Spring.