The Walking Dead showrunner talks villain Negan and season 6
[WARNING: This post discusses characters and events from The Walking Dead comic that may also appear in the TV version in season 6.]
If you’re trying to match the timeline of The Walking Dead TV show to the comic on which it is based, Rick’s shooting of Pete that closed last season occurred in issue 77 of the original (the series is now up to issue 144). So what—and whom?—might we expect to see from the comic in season 6? Producers have already confirmed there will be a ridiculous amount of zombies, which could mean the herd that breaks through the walls of Alexandria in the comic is on the way. That particular attack results in several deaths (including people currently on the show) and a gruesome injury to one main character in particular.
But fans are more geeked out about the possibility of two pivotal living characters making the leap from page-to-screen in season 6. And we don’t mean Alexandrians Denise and Heath (who will be played by Merrit Wever and Corey Hawkins, respectively), but rather two other prominent figures that may or may not make an appearance.
The first is Paul Monroe (a.k.a. Jesus). A master of hand-to-hand combat, Jesus arrives in issue 91 and connects the Alexandrians to other communities like the Hilltop that trade services and goods for the betterment of all. But this connection also draws Alexandria into conflict with the most infamous villain in Walking Dead history—Negan. A psychopath whose biggest love in life is a barbed-wire-covered baseball bat named Lucille, Negan leads a group called the Saviors who are anything but. He’s kind of like the Governor, but on steroids.
Might Negan make his presence felt by the end of the season? “It’s absolutely a possibility,” says showrunner Scott M. Gimple. “And when I say it’s a possibility, we have a plan in place, but there’s a couple variables for that plan that we’re deciding about. It really depends on a few factors as we move into setting up the last bit of the season story-wise.”
So there you have it: Negan may actually show up in season 6 depending on how those variables go, And if Negan may show up, then it’s a pretty strong bet that Jesus (who appears earlier in the comic) will be introduced before the season is through.
Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman had this to say to EW about the possibility of the dynamic duo coming to TV. “When it comes to characters like The Governor, Michonne, Abraham, and others like Jesus and Negan who are fan-favorite characters in the comics, it’s always a challenge to get it right because it’s those characters—much like Rick Grimes in the beginning—that fans already have a sense of and expectations for. So we’re always careful, and I feel like we’ve done a really good job servicing those fan expectations. Hopefully that trend will continue…if the characters you mention are to appear soon.”
Place your bets now.