Negan was locked up in a jail cell for all of season 9, but The Walking Dead fans familiar with the comics knew this wouldn’t last forever. Sure enough, showrunner Angela Kang has teased that the former Savior leader is now “out and about” in season 10. This comes after his surprising rescuing of Judith and Dog in the previous season finale. But is Negan truly reformed? The EP isn’t confirming anything except lots of “Negan fun” to come, as Kang told TV Line the following:
“This has been part of the plan for his character that started with last season. So for fans who were kind of itching for more of him, there will be a lot of Negan fun this year.”
Just because he’s now free doesn’t mean Negan will be a goody-goody and everyone’s best pal, though. “Negan is still Negan,” Kang hinted. “He can’t help but push people’s buttons.”
That said, the character knows how to adjust to his situation. Having been incarcerated for so many years has taught him that if he wants to be respected again, he might need to change his ways.
“I think in the comics, even if he called Rick the King S— Motherf—er, he’s used to being that guy himself. So to be in jail for years was a big ego blow. He wants to be important. He wants to be valued. So that can take many different forms.”
The idea of Negan, the murderer of Glenn and Abraham, being a free man and teaming up with our heroes might feel weird to some, or maybe you’re worried that you’re starting to like the ex-villain. According to Kang though, that’s exactly the way it should be.
“But that’s the genius of Robert Kirkman [who wrote the source material]. He created this villain who is so much fun, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, am I supposed to like him? This is very confusing.’ That’s where the character lives. Part of the joy for me in writing Negan is figuring out, ‘What is he up to? Is it OK that I like him right now when he’s saying this stuff that’s really f—ed up?’ That’s a lot of what we’re doing with the character this year, and it’s really fun.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has previously promised the fans aren’t ready for the new Negan we’ll get to know in season 10. He also teased that this is a “really busy year” for the character, but refused to confirm whether it’ll be “good things or downright awful things” about him that’ll surprise viewers.
In any case, we’ll find out soon enough, as The Walking Dead season 10 kicks off when “Lines We Cross” airs Sunday, October 6th on AMC. Or, you can view it a week early by subscribing to AMC Premiere.