After months — if not years — of speculation, The Walking Dead has finally settled upon the man who will play the series’ next major villain, Negan. There’s been much speculation that the baseball-bat wielding character would be introduced near the end of this season, and that certainly looks to be the case. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Negan will arrive in the sixth season finale, and he will be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Morgan — who many know as Edward Blake/Comedian in Watchmen — could not look more perfect for the role of leader of the Saviors. He also has the charismatic, bad-ass persona down cold, something he’s actually been displaying on The Good Wife this season. After all, he’s a guy who, in real life, goes on motorcycle rides with his dogs.
The actor seemed to be on a trajectory toward stardom after his break-out role in Grey’s Anatomy several years ago, but his movie career didn’t quite pan out after the middling box-office performance of Watchmen and The A-Team knock-off, Losers. He has since worked mostly in series television, including Extant and Texas Rising (both cancelled).
Speculation brewed last week that Garret Dillahunt was in line for the role, thanks to a few telling tweets that suggested he’d be cast on the show. That’s not out of the realm of possibility, however. Dillahunt could still be cast as Dwight, a lieutenant of Negan who appears shortly before Negan does in the comics.
Having either Dillahunt or Morgan or both is a huge boon to the series, which has cast mostly unknowns. The casting announcement should also bring a lot of enthusiasm to the series during a week in which many fans were disappointed in the latest episode.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)