Negan origin story was the “coolest thing” Jeffrey Dean Morgan has ever done

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

The Walking Dead recently aired the last of six extra bonus episodes that focused more of character than action. It’s true that “Diverged” is now the show’s worst-rated episode on IMDb, but on the bright side, “Here’s Negan” is among the finest hours the show has produced.

The story, based on Robert Kirkman’s Here’s Negan one-shot comic, takes place right after the zombie apocalypse when Negan is trying to find Chemo drugs to help treat his wife Lucille, who has cancer. Of course, with society crumbling, it proves a big challenge.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Negan, and his real-life wife Hilarie Burton played Lucille, something that worried him going in. “I’m not going to lie, I was nervous as hell going in,” Morgan told Entertainment Weekly. “I didn’t know how she would be. I don’t f— around. I go to work. We better f—ing bring it.”

"I mean, it was a surprise to me and I was excited to do it, but also pretty intimidated, because the mythology of Lucille has been built up so much over the years. It matters a lot in the Negan mythology, and so I wanted it to be great."

The Walking Dead
Hilarie Burton Morgan as Lucille – The Walking Dead _ Season 10 – Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Ultimately, both of them turned in amazing performances. At the moment, “Here’s Negan” boasts an impressive 9.5/10 rating on IMDb, making it the fourth highest-rated episode in the show’s history. “It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do,” Morgan said.

And it was a long time coming. “I mean, look, you and I have had conversations about doing ‘Here’s Negan’ for five years,” Morgan said. “There’s been discussions. Would it be on the big screen? Would it be a miniseries? I’ve heard every kind of scenario thrown at us, regarding it.”

"Then at the same time, in the back of my head, I kind of thought, we’re never going to be able to do it. It’ll just never happen. We’ve still got a Rick movie to do, for God’s sake. By the time they ever got around to it, they’d have to recast the f—ing thing."

Happily, that didn’t happen, and the character’s origin story gave us more insight into Negan than we’ve ever had before. Although it shows a softer, less homicidal side of the character, Morgan thinks it makes him more formidable than ever before. “I think it’s just great to have a character that’s three-dimensional,” he said. “This gives that final side to Negan, that puts the pieces together. Now I think going forward, you’ve got a character that shouldn’t be trifled with. This makes him more dangerous than he was before.”

What’s going to happen between Negan and Maggie on The Walking Dead

Back in the present, the show has been building towards a showdown between Negan and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Maggie is out to punish Negan for killing Glenn back in the season 7 premiere, along with all the other despicable things he’s done. Will she get her revenge?

Things have changed since Maggie left the show. Before she departed, she left Negan to die in a jail cell rather than killing him herself. Now she’s back and Negan is free. “I think Carol’s instinct [in warning him] is that this is not going to be easy for either of them, and it could get explosive,” showrunner Angela Kang told TV Line.

"Before, Maggie had all the power, because he was behind bars. But Negan is walking around free now. And you know, she didn’t show him mercy when she left him alive in jail. She was like, “He’s miserable. He can stay in jail forever. This is almost better than having him die!” But the whole situation is flipped upside-down now."

The number of glances exchanged between Negan and Maggie makes it absolutely clear that a reckoning is coming.

“Here’s Negan” was the perfect ending to season 10. Now, we can look forward to the 24-episode final season of The Walking Dead, which debuts on August 22, 2021!

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