The Walking Dead returns from its midseason hiatus tonight but viewers have been looking past the new episode for months now. Ever since AMC announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be playing the villainous Negan, anxious viewers have been anticipating his arrival which likely won't come until the last episode of the current season.
That said, I'm just as excited as everyone else to see the menace come across my television screen. So, over the weekend, when I had the chance to talk with The Walking Dead's executive producer Gale Anne Hurd about tonight's new episode but, of course, I couldn't miss the opportunity to learn whatever I can about the comics' most infamous villain.
Check out our Negan-talk below!
CB: The big thing recently has been Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan. We've been talking about it all season. I know you can't say much about the character but can you say how closely in comparison to the comics, personality-wise and charisma-wise is Morgan's portrayal?
GAH: You've read the comics obviously, and you're familiar with Jeffrey Dean Morgan's work. I don't think that there is an actor out there who is more right to bring Negan to life than Jeffrey Dean Morgan. In social media, I've seen people do a face, half of the comic book Negan character and the other half Jeffrey Dean Morgan's face...
If we were just going by someone who looks and is already that commanding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be perfect, but he brings the acting chops, the charm and the charisma that Negan has to have.
CB: Negan's introduction in the comics was one of the most impactful moments of the entire series and, as a result, all Walking Dead fans are very familiar with it. Was changing it ever something you guys considered? Drastically changing it?
GAH: We've been known to change things. We reserve the right to change things. It has got to serve our story and our characters. Obviously, just by virtue of the fact that we've got a character like Daryl who isn't in the comic books, that changes things. The fact that there are characters alive who were dead in the comics and vice versa, that changes that dynamic. We are travelling this alternate pathway, but at the same time, it's absolutely critical to all of us that we celebrate the comic book without which we wouldn't be able to make the show.
One has to wonder if the team behind The Walking Dead will change what was perhaps the most iconic and defining moment Robert Kirkman's comic series when they adapt to the television screen. Would you like to see things changed for TV?
More of ComicBook.com's exclusive chat with Gale Anne Hurd will be coming up throughout the day and after tonight's new episode of The Walking Dead, which airs at 9 PM ET on AMC.