The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan Has Specific Ideas For What He'd Like From A Negan Spinoff

jeffrey dean morgan's negan angry in the woods on the walking dead season 11
(Image credit: amc press)

Spoilers below for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, so be warned!

With AMC's The Walking Dead now firmly in the depths of its eleventh and final season, and no release date in sight for Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes movies, fans are bound to have questions about what's coming next for the franchise beyond the Daryl and Carol spinoff. One follow-up option that some fans have called for is a Negan-centric spinoff for star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who hasn't exactly said no to the hypothetical idea. In fact, he even has a few preferences if such a project ever comes to light.

When it comes to a Negan spinoff, Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn't have a lot of requests for whatever creative team takes it on. In fact, he basically just has one, but it's pretty specific and is at odds with what some of Negan's biggest fans would want to see. Here's how Morgan put it to TV Line:

I’ll be very honest with you, if I was to do more, I would like to move forward with the story and not backward. I loved what we showed in ‘Here’s Negan,’ but now we’ve done a lot of that story. We could do a short series on how the Saviors came to be, which would be kind of interesting, but I’m more looking forward. We’ve shown these different sides of Negan over the past few years. Now I’d like to see, after this ends, what happens to him next. I find that possibility to be a lot more interesting than going back in time.

Now, he didn't come out and say "Hell nah!" to the idea of a full-fledged Negan prequel series, but it doesn't sound like Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be embracing his dreams if The Walking Dead's Scott Gimple & Co. chose to dig deeper into the formerly monstrous character's backstory beyond what we've seen so far. Which is a perfectly reasonable point of view to have, considering the TWD TV series already delivered its own twist on the narrative reveals made in Robert Kirkman's Here's Negan one-shot, which involved some movie magic to make Morgan appear far younger for the early-outbreak timeline.

For the most part, Negan was far more of a douchebag in all the years of his life prior to his incarcerated rehabilitation within Alexandria, and Morgan might be over playing all that. Which isn't to say there aren't any pockets of Negan's past life that would make for good TV in the right hands. Naturally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is well aware of what one of the most promising ideas would be: the formation of the Saviors.

But that's not exactly a story that could last forever, especially since fans already know the fates of just about everyone involved. (One has to imagine Austin Amelio would sign on for that one simply to play Dwight again without all the time in the makeup chair.) Beyond that, you're mostly looking at largely anti-climactic spans, such as Negan and Hilarie Burton Morgan's Lucille earlier in their marriage, or maybe a closer look at what happened to Negan during the gap crossed over in Season 9's six-year time jump.

The sky is truly the limit for Negan, however, if The Walking Dead producers and AMC execs ever agree to give Negan a looking-forward sequel show that could possibly offer more context for what happened with Negan after he exited the main story in the comic book series. After all, even if Negan and Lauren Cohan's Maggie work together well enough during Season 11 that she makes it all the way through without putting a crowbar through his eye socket, that doesn't exactly guarantee a happy and emotionally jubilant time for Negan as an Alexandrian, or even as a Commonwealth resident, should he ever make it there.

Considering he left her for dead at the end of Season 11's premiere, Maggie will likely never view Negan as anything but Glenn's murderer, although I have a sneaking suspicion that she would squash her beef if it was requested by Hershel, played with overflowing adorbs-ness by Kien Michael Spiller. In any case, as much as Negan might prefer to live within a community than on his own, Maggie's presence will only cause stress, so he'd almost definitely branch out on his own. Possibly with Cassady McClincy's Lydia by his side. Possibly with Maggie's boot still stuck somewhere uncomfortable.

How cool would it be if Negan ended up being directly connected to Rick Grimes' return, as built up by a new spinoff series? It definitely looks like more dots will be connected on that front when The Walking Dead's former star Pollyanna McIntosh returns to the franchise for World Beyond Season 2 as the half-villainous Jadis, who was last seen saving Rick's life (for better or worse) via a helicopter trip. Not that I know how the creative team could spin that out, time-wise, but I'm into it all the same.

For any of that to happen, Negan has to actually survive throughout the rest of Season 11 of The Walking Dead, which airs new episodes every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, with AMC+ streaming those episodes a week early for subscribers. And the zombie drama is but one of many exciting shows populating the 2021 Fall TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.