While we’re waiting for Negan to show up on the season finale of The Walking Dead (two episodes to go), EW got ahold of showrunner Scott Gimple and tried to get a few hints out of him as to what we’re in for. How close to the famous comic entrance will Negan’s introduction be?
“He is somebody who is the ultimate bully.” Gimple describes. “The worst kind of bullies in high school, and junior high, and elementary school, and kindergarten, pre-school, and the womb were the bullies that were funny. That was the worst because the bullies that were funny were show people. I’m not going to say show men because there are a lot of girl bullies in school, too. They were funny and yet they were awful. That’s such a combination. And Negan is the ultimate version of that bully.”
According to Gimple, Negan should be as charismatic as he is vile. “He is an incredible strategist. He can often appear capricious. He is pure id. He is this force of nature. He’s charismatic. A lot of villains on shows and comics and everything, it’s like, “Oh they’re the villain that you love to hate.” I think Negan is the villain that you hate to love. But you just love him. And he does some horrible things, but he has a reason for them.”
What about his sailor mouth — won’t that be a problem for basic cable? Gimple says they shot two different versions of Negan’s opening scene: one where he talks like he does in the comics and one with tamer dialogue for air. We can assume the saltier version will show up on the Blu-Ray and DVD sets.