The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan Addresses Negan's Changes For Season 9

negan and eugene season 8 the walking dead

For two seasons of The Walking Dead, Team Family has been plagued by the sadistic actions of big bad Negan. But the Season 8 finale seemingly took care of that problem, with Rick taking Negan down, though mercifully keeping the villain alive. For the AMC drama's big panel at San Diego Comic-Con, moderator Yvette Nicole Brown asked star Jeffrey Dean Morgan about the changes coming to Negan for Season 9, now that he's no longer in charge of anyone. Here's how he answered:

It's a different year, a different side of Negan. I think we've got to see different sides and little hints of different sides. But this year, just from the trailer you see that he's in a bit of a predicament. And he's having to face some stuff, I think internally and outside his jail that he's never had to face before. So we're going to see some different sides. In saying that, Negan also gets to interact with some people on this stage that he hasn't been able to interact with before. Which has been super fun. For myself and for Negan.

To say that Negan is taking on a different role in the pecking order is an understatement. As seen in the brand new Season 9 trailer that was revealed at Comic-Con, Negan will no longer be running around and swinging Lucille willy nilly. Here, we're picking up after a major time jump that opens the world up and brings new characters into the fold, with many formerly conflicting characters now working together, such as Jadis and many now-reformed Saviors. But, Negan doesn't get to be out there in the free world with the rest of them, since he's now being locked up within his own personal jail cell.

When Negan gets cooped up inside a small space for too long, he has no one to deal with but himself, which is not a great way to keep his sanity. In order to maintain a semblance of normalcy, Rick will keep Negan company for some occasional conversations, which should make for some of the more interesting Season 9 exchanges.

After Jeffrey Dean Morgan gave his answer, Yvette Nicole Brown then asked new showrunner Angela Kang a similar inquiry. Here's how the longtime Walking Dead writer answered.

We're getting to see some sides of Negan that we've never seen before. I think it'll be cool. I'm definitely loving the stuff that's coming in the episodes, and Jeffrey's fucking amazing. . . . But Negan is Negan. Negan wants to stir up trouble sometimes.

Angela Kang felt bad about swearing so prominently during her answer, but the audience loved it. And you can bet that Jeffrey Dean Morgan loved it, too.

The Walking Dead will return to AMC for the all-new and all-different Season 9 on Sunday, October 7, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Before that, you'll be able to find the back half of Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 on Sunday, August 12, at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.