We’ve been hearing about the likelihood of Negan getting cast in the sixth season of The Walking Dead for a while. The signs have been clear that Negan will be coming sooner rather than later, and this morning we finally learned that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is taking on the iconic comics role.
A couple of months, ago, casting information was released for a character named Orin who was so obviously Negan it hurt. The character was described using adjectives that really could only be attributed to one character in Robert Kirkman’s iconic novels: the leader of The Saviors. Described as “charismatic,” “brutal,” “smart,” “ferocious,” hilarious” and “innapropriate,” the character could only be Negan. Now that Morgan has been cast, it seems as if there could be no better fit for the character, who THR confirms will pop up in the season finale for the series this year.
Morgan’s been around the block for a while, but most recently has been known for gigs on Starz’s short-lived series Magic City and on CBS’ sci-fi drama Extant. In the former, he played a charming hotel owner who did dirty work for the mob, so we know he’s capable of playing a character who is very intimidating while also curiously being affable and intelligent. At 6'2'' Morgan is also a rather large dude, which helps fit the profile, too. It’s almost like this part was written for the actor.
Obviously, this is bad news for fans of Garret Dillahunt. The actor had been spending time teasing the AMC drama in recent days, leading many to believe he’d earned the big gig. Obviously, as a huge fan of the Justified and Raising Hope actor, I’m a little disappointed that Dillahunt hasn’t nabbed the iconic role, but that doesn’t mean he’s out on The Walking Dead entirely. He’s certainly a big enough name to command a decent role on the series, although I see how Jeffrey Dean Morgan physically fits the profile a bit more. (Plus, he’s a damn fine actor, too.)
The Walking Dead is known for making big names out of relatively unknown actors, but it’s interesting that recent casting news and rumors have been related to more established actors. Whatever the reason The Walking Dead has for casting a more established actor as Negan, I’m really digging it. (Just as I’m digging not having to wait years to see Negan on the small screen.)
Obviously, we still have several questions. Will Negan be as foul-mouthed on the cable channel as he is in the comics? Will he cause as many problems for Rick and the gang? And most importantly, will Glenn be around for that big scene involving a baseball bat, or could someone else take his place? Find out the answers to these questions and more when The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET, only on AMC.