There has been a lot of attention on what Negan’s introduction means for the folks of Alexandria in season 7 of The Walking Dead, which premieres Sunday night at 9 p.m. on AMC. But what is Negan’s relationship like with his own group, the Saviors?
That’s not a rhetorical question. It’s one we actually asked the guy who plays Negan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. And he was kind enough to answer, because that’s how these type of things tend to work — we ask a question, and then the person answers. “Yeah, it’s an odd relationship he has with the Saviors,” says Morgan. “Because a lot of them, I think, follow him purely out fear. I think that Negan has kept these people alive, certainly.”
Morgan says he has been leaning on some source material to help inform his character and why his own forces now fear him. “[Creator Robert Kirkman] just wrote kind of a preamble on Negan’s pre-apocalyptic life,” the actor says. “And he sent me like 48 pages that are sent out with the other comics, so you get to see a little bit. It was very interesting to see how Negan became Negan.”
I’ve added high quality episode stills, behind the scenes photos and episode screen caps from last night’s episode. There are spoilers in a few of the screencaps, so if you for some reason haven’t watched the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, please do not check out the gallery until you do!
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has confirmed that his version of Negan in “The Walking Dead” (232″TWD”) will be different from the one in the comic book series on which the AMC series is based.
Earlier this year, much was made of the fact that “The Good Wife” actor had been cast as Negan, the new main villain in AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama. Many thought that the actor was perfect for the role. But because he only debuted in the season 6 finale, viewers haven’t seen much of him yet.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Morgan revealed that while the “TWD” team tries to stay true to the source material, they have also added and subtracted much to the original incarnation of the villain.
“We’ve added a lot, obviously, that’s not in the comic books with Negan,” the actor disclosed. According to Morgan, he has tried to take certain aspects of the comic book Negan — his smile, his posture — from the panels but has had to fill in the blanks about other facets of the character. The actor also said that he thinks his Negan is a bit more manic than the original.
Morgan explained how he interprets Negan for the screen, saying, “If I just make this guy manic and kind of one dimensional then I don’t have anywhere to go.”
“I try to make every scene a little bit of a rollercoaster so you don’t know,” he said. “So it’ll keep you on your toes of where Negan is, and I only have so much I can go on working on the comic book,” he added.
Meanwhile, a recent statement from “TWD” director Greg Nicotero has had fans worrying that the body count in the season 7 premiere, which picks up right where the season 6 cliffhanger finale left off, could be higher than expected.
In a recent chat with EW, Nicotero spoke about the decision to conclude season 6 with a major cliffhanger, saying that he supports how it was made because the story definitely did not conclude with the season 6 ender.
“If we would have shown the deaths, then they wouldn’t have felt our characters in season seven the way they need to,” he said.
While Nicotero’s use of the word “deaths” may have been no more than an innocent error, could it also mean that the “TWD” boss had been careless and had unwittingly revealed a major season 7 secret?
“The Walking Dead” season 7 debuts Sunday, Oct. 23, at 9 p.m. EDT on AMC.