Negan's infamous entrance continues to inch closer with every passing second.
As the moment approaches, fans who know the character from the comic books wonder just how Jeffrey Dean Morgan's portrayal can accurately represent that of the comics with the language barrier presented by cable television.
The team behind The Walking Dead isn't 100% sure either.
The Walking Dead writer and creator Robert Kirkman certainly hopes to see the character brought to life as accurately as possible and he's promising that one way or another, we'll see the f-bomb spewing Negan. Here's what Kirkman had to say on the matter:
“I would say that there are certain words that try as I might, we are not allowed to say on AMC, and those are certain words that Negan likes to say. So those words are going to be filmed, and people are going to be able to get those words, but there are definitely some broadcast limitations that we’re going to have to deal with. We’re sorting that out now, but I will say that, worst-case scenario, the extras will be extra-special on Blu-ray. I mean, we’re trying to explore some other more interesting options, but that’s the bare minimum of what we’ll be doing.”
Showrunner Scott Gimple also promises a "full-octane" Negan, be it on TV or a later blu-ray release:
“I’m still finishing up season 6, so there are still aspects of these questions that I’m figuring out. But I will say that my goal is for, at the very least, in some way — might not be all the time, and it might not even be directly through your TV box — that people will be able to get full-octane Negan. I’m still playing around with it, but I will say I do have the material two ways right now. I’ll see what I can do with it. One way or another I want people to see full-octane Negan. Will I be able to shoot every scene like that? Probably not, but to tell you the truth, I think we will get as close to the version of full-octane Negan as we can through some version of the show or another.”
Executive producer and VFX guru Greg Nicotero also weighed in on the matter:
“That would be a very good guess. We’ve talked about that. Even back when Michael Cudlitz was cast as Abraham we were like, ‘Damn, how are we going to deal with Abraham’s dialogue?’ And I think Gimple went, ‘Yeah, Abraham’s dialogue is fine. It’s Negan that we’re going to have problems with because every other word of Negan’s is f—.’ There is a rhythm to it that even in some of the takes that we did. What I affectionately call the ‘f— takes’ have a completely different rhythm to them and a completely different feel. So while editing it, I was very careful to make sure that I preserved a lot of the performance without getting myself into trouble with the profanity.”
So, there you have it. Negan's introduction, which will apparently come in the season six finale on April 3, has been shot in different ways. One way plays it safe for cable television and the other breaks the rules and spews the harsh language we're used to reading from Negan in the comics.
One has to wonder if AMC is willing to just throw the words in there and accept the fine. Probably not because Negan's mouth would probably rack up enough of a debt that not even the Tony Stark could afford to pay off but FX just aired the word "motherf--ker" on their The People vs. O.J. Simpson special which airs only one hour later than The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 PM ET on AMC.