Editor’s note: This video contains massive spoilers for The Walking Dead comics. Don’t dead spoilers inside, and all that jazz. You have been warned.
He makes Shane seem like a well-adjusted father figure. He makes The Governor look like Mr Rogers. He makes Abraham seem like a prude. Who is this foul-mouthed, sociopathic villain with a baseball bat that has The Walking Dead fandom meticulously poring over every interview, press release, and news item looking for clues? His name is Negan and he is one bad mamma jamma. Since his introduction in the comics in The Walking Dead #100, fans have been eagerly awaiting Negan’s introduction on the hit AMC series. But who is he exactly? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you on today’s episode of The Dan Cave.
With his supremely salty language, signature leather jacket, and his trusty barbed-wire-covered baseball bat Lucille, Negan looms large over The Walking Dead landscape. He leads a gigantic group of survivors known as the Saviors and has more blood on his hands than Rick Grimes in a room full of Shanes. Which if you know anything about Rick Grimes is a metric ton of blood. Despite what he says, dude straight up loves murdering.
Though nothing has been made official, Negan’s arrival on the televised version of The Walking Dead is all but confirmed. In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Scott M. Gimple was asked about a casting notice for the role of “Orin”, a man described as “a physically imposing, charismatic, brutal, smart, ferocious, frightening, hilarious, inappropriate, oddly friendly, fun loving sociopath that is both a leader of men and a killer of men.” Sounds familiar right? When pressed over whether “Orin” was actually Negan, Gimple said, “I can neither confirm nor deny. It’s not the worst guess in the world. It’s difficult to get around your logic here.”
This news, coupled with the casting of characters like Paul “Jesus” Monroe and the inevitable introduction of the Hilltop colony, makes it seem like a foregone conclusion that we’ll see Negan and the Saviors sooner rather than later.
Series creator Robert Kirkman agrees, too. “I think it would be very cool if Negan were to be introduced into the show,” Kirkman said at New York Comic Con. “I don’t know when that would happen though.” After a pause, he added, “I do, but I can’t say.”
Earlier this year, Jon Hamm was reported to be in contention for the role, but names like Patrick Warburton and Kevin Durand have been tossed around as popular fan castings. When I asked Kirkman who should play Negan, he had only two words: “Ed O’Neill”. Handsome though Hamm may be, he may be facing competition from the Modern Family star. (No, not really, but it’s fun to imagine.)
What is your favorite Negan-ism? What do you think will happen with him in the comics? Who should play him on TV? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Images: Image Comics/Skybound
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).