Why Jeffrey Dean Morgan Is Perfect For The Walking Dead's Negan, According To The Showrunner

AMC’s The Walking Dead is known for having extremely captivating characters. In addition to the ensemble cast of heroes, the writers also create terrifying villains that quickly become scene stealers. While The Governor seemed like the most nefarious character that The Walking Dead would ever see, we’re about to get a new brand of crazy with the upcoming introduction of Negan. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s casting seemed perfect for fans of the comic book character, and now it appears that his work on The Walking Dead is pretty perfect as well. Showrunner Scott Gimple recently opened up about Morgan’s performance as Negan, saying:

As far as Jeffrey goes…The glee that he had in the idea of being able to play this role was perfect for this role. The glee that he showed is so similar to the kind of id that Negan displays. It isn’t just that, physically, he resembles him. Jeffrey’s enthusiasm mirrors the character’s enthusiasm. Negan is an extremely enthusiastic character; he’s not subtle. There really aren’t a lot of half measures. He’s a bull in a china shop, and the china shop is the world. And he’s not very concerned about what he breaks. I saw Jeffrey’s smile and I said, ‘Oh, that’s Negan’s smile.’ Well this is exciting.

This statement, which comes to us from Nerdist, makes it seem like Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance as Negan is going to be something really special.

We’ve known for a while that Negan is going to turn the world of The Walking Dead on it’s head, but we hadn’t heard a ton of information regarding the specifics of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance. Negan is known for his eccentric, albeit murderous, personality. Now it appears that Morgan perfectly found the quirks that make Negan such an exciting character in the graphic novels.

We’ve known for quite some time that Negan would be appearing in The Walking Dead. A major comic book villain, Negan is the leader of a group of survivors called The Saviors. He has a strict set of rules for his followers to abide by, and uses the constant threat of violence to keep them in line.

Negan carries a bat wrapped in barbed wire named Lucille, and is known for brutally beating one of the main characters to death upon their first meeting. Considering how closely The Walking Dead has been following the comics lately, smart minds agree that one of the main characters is likely going to meet their maker at the hands of Negan during his first episode. Whether it will be the same character from the comics is yet to be seen, but no matter what we’ll be getting an exceptional and terrifying performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.