The Walking Dead's most vicious villain has been cast, as Jeffrey Dean Morgan has signed on for the role, THR reports.
The search for the character's actor has been extensive, and went back to last year as the TV show approached his arrival according to the comic book's timeline.
The sixth season finale of the AMC drama will introduce the villain, they report. It will be directed by Greg Nicotero.
In the comic books, Negan's arrival alongside his group the Saviors came with a splash - and a lot of death, including that of a major character. The group's general modus operandi is that of a protection racket, taking what other communities are able to offer (well, way more than what they're really able to offer) under the auspices that they'll be protected. If they don't pay up? Death and destruction.
Negan's signature weapon, his barb-wired bat Lucille, was on display at the 10th Anniversary Party for The Walking Dead in 2013, having already been made by AMC's prop masters for the event, so it's safe to say his arrival has been heavily anticipated by fans and those making the show alike. A collectible/toy version of it has been a convention staple at the Skybound/Image Comics booth for years, as well.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan was one of at least four actors that was heavily considered for the role, and his inclusion marks his return to comic book projects, having also starred in Watchmen and The Losers on the big screen.