For many fans of The Walking Dead, there is a truth about season 7 that has become quite event by this mid-season finale: When Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan is onscreen, the season is good; when he is not, the season isn't half as good.
As a popular character from the comic book series, getting Negan right in the TV series was a crucial challenge for The Walking Dead. Luckily, with some proper casting and storyline, that challenge was met - and exceeded - creating some potential opportunity we want to see fulfilled.
Here's why a Walking Dead Negan Spinoff Show Could Work.
Negan is probably the most interesting Walking Dead villain (if not character) we've gotten thus far. Whereas The Governer wore a smiling southern charm mask over his true psychopathic face, Negan is an unabashed smiliing psychopath, with hints of having much more depth than so many other characters on the show.
It's those hints of something deeper that make Negan a ripe subject for a Walking Dead spinoff. From his backstory, to current his current formidability and cult-leader sway over others, Negan would be an interesting subject to examine, past, present and future.
Having Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan is an asset that needs to be mined in full.
Morgan has been an unforgettable standout in virtually everything he's been in (Supernatural, Grey's Anatomy, Watchmen); the kind of actor who has just been begging to see his longtime talent fit into the frame of a proper leading role.
With Morgan coming in and owning the Negan role (combined with his established geek cred), now is the time to get him headlining a high-profile show.
We've already written pretty extensively about why The Walking Dead may be in need of fresh blood. Our ideas have ranged from several solid spinoff concepts to a season 8 "soft reboot" that essentially sets the characters within a refreshed show premise. However, a Negan series would be an easy win for AMC.
- First of all, the fans have been primed for it; have been since they were campaigning for a Governer spinoff series. Negan is a much better candidate for that.
- Negan isn't just a character now - he's an established brand. From his look, to his accessories (Lucille) to his many, many, quotables and memes, the guys is an official part of the pop-culture zeitgiest. In short: the audience is already there.
- The flexibility to have a Negan series function as a prequel, interquel and sequel to the main Walking Dead show gives it ties of relevance Fear the Walking Dead only wishes it had.
As stated, a Negan series has the ability to do what Better Call Saul has done so brilliantly: move around in time to depict events that take place before, during and after the main Walking Dead series, from a whole new angle.
It would be interesting to follow Negan's experiences in a zompocalypse world that Rick and grew never even knew existed before the end of season 5. Seeing how the Saviors came together, why Negan even decided to lead them, and what other communities they had to role over to get where they are could occupy a few seasons of story, while still resonating with and from events in the main show, creating a nice shared universe of Easter eggs and refrences to discover.
If someone were to come to you and say that the Walking Dead franchise needed a comedy, you probably would've looked at them like they were crazy. However, in a post-Negan world, it's actually not that hard to see; hell, it's even something to hope for.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan has proven to be as funny as he is psychotic, and a series based around him would be expected to carry that same offbeat blend of laughs and shock violence. The main Walking Dead series has repeatedly dragged with some insufferable drama - and Fear is an even worse offender in that regard. A Negan show would be a great antethesis to the standard formula.
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The Walking Dead returns for the second half of Season 7 on February 12, 2016. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.