Ahead of the sixth season premiere of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman spoke at a New York Comic-Con panel on Thursday. There, he promised that this season “will be the most intense season of The Walking Dead yet.” The sixth season premiere certainly suggests as much.
There will be a few surprises, as well, Kirkman teased. Maggie (Lauren Cohen), who has been relegated to the backseat for the last few seasons, will take on a larger role this season. “Maggie’s character is evolving like all the others; she’s become very assertive, she’s someone Deanna is working with very closely. She’s certainly bridging the gap between the Alexandrians and Rick’s group.”
Kirkman also promised that “there’s a lot of cool stuff with Maggie coming” and one wonders if she could eventually replace Deanna as the new head of Alexandria, should Deanna find herself on the wrong end of a zombie bite.
As teased in the promos, Morgan (Lennie James) will play a central role in the season, though for how long remains to be seen (James headlines a British series, Critical, although the first season of that show did not present any scheduling difficulties). “The character of Morgan does come back in the comic book series too, so it was always the plan, and then Lennie James just kept working … it took a while to get him back.”
What about Negan, the most dastardly villain in Kirkman’s comic book and the most anticipated new arrival to the series since The Governor left? We know that Jesus will be arriving this season, and in the comics, Negan is not too far behind. Will Negan be introduced before the end of season six?
“I think it’d be cool for Negan to be introduced into the show. I don’t know when that’ll happen. I mean, I do, but I can’t tell you,” Robert Kirkman teased the audience. He also joked that Ed O’Neill (Modern Family) would be great in the role.
No. No, he would not.
Kirkman did, however, promise the addition of another community this year. “Would anyone like to see the other communities introduced?” he asked. After the crowd roared enthusiastically, Kirkman nodded. “Alright, we’ll do it.” (I think we know exactly which community that will be.)
The season premiere of The Walking Dead will air this Sunday.