Whatever your opinion of The Walking Dead season 7, you can’t deny that ubervillain Negan is a force of nature and one of the most significant and arguably best characters the show has ever produced. A lot of that is to do with the larger than life performance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who manages to make the murderous tyrant likeable with his unique brand of rogueish charm.
While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Morgan explained that he thinks there’s more to Negan than just “this big bad” and that he would love to have an episode all to himself that could explain the character’s backstory.
“I have to be careful because the writers have so much fun with Negan and his dialogue that I have to be very careful in kind of tampering that dialogue in places to keep it open to other interpretations, because everybody wants him to be this big bad but I just can’t play him like that. I refuse to, and there’s more to him than that. This year Gimple and I are on a mission to find him in there. And you know, I always am hoping that, at some point, we do a backstory episode for Negan, because it’s an amazing story.
I don’t know that that’s going to happen this year, but we are going to see enough of him and he talks quite a bit, as you know. So he’s going to reveal some of himself to the audience this year, which is going to be awesome. It’s going to be fascinating. [pauses] Of course, he’s still going to be a big f***ing dick!”
Though a total mystery on the show, comic book readers will know all about Negan’s past, thanks to the spinoff series Here’s Negan. We won’t go into it now, for fear of spoilers, but suffice it to say that it does go someway to humanizing the character.
While a Negan backstory episode is still just a pipe-dream of Morgan’s, he was able to confirm that hints and teases at the villain’s past would start to trickle out across The Walking Dead‘s new season.
“The most fascinating stuff that I’ve got to do this year is seeing behind the leather jacket a little bit. And we’ll find more. We’re finding more all the time, but I think the writers and (showrunner Scott M. Gimple) have, have a plan for Negan, and I’m really liking how it’s playing out thus far.”
In contrast to Negan’s role as undisputed dictator in season 7, season 8 will see an adaptation of the “All Out War” comic book storyline and feature Rick leading the assembled communities against the Saviors. Presumably, this means that we don’t have much time left with the villain. In other words, the writers might want to get their skates on and reveal his full backstory sooner rather than later.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 22nd.