The Walking Dead Showrunner Describes Negan As Terrifying, Charismatic, & Funny

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It sounds like The Walking Dead big bad Negan is going to be a pretty textbook case of a charismatic and brutally evil who leads his followers into trouble.

But, according to showrunner Scott Gimple, Negan is not a psychopath.

"In my opinion, The Governor is more despicable and damaged" than Negan, Gimple told TVLine. "Negan is terrifying in that he isn’t a psychopath. He’s charismatic and funny. And even sort of friendly. But he just kills, and it doesn’t bother him. He’s the star of his own movie and we’re all Red Shirts. He’s not nuts. But you can’t reason with him because he’s got it all worked out. He knows exactly the way the world works. And he’s the one in control. Negan also has a bizarre sense of empathy. He actually recognizes your bad luck in you running into him, yet it doesn’t change a damn thing. Robert [Kirkman] has created one of the great pop culture characters of the past 20 years. And we desperately want to get him right."

This lines up with what he ultimately became in the comics, although one could argue those characteristics were not obvious from his earliest appearances, where he was more monster than man -- a bloody-minded, cursing murder machine.

The Walking Dead will be back in 2016, and it's expected that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will join the cast as Negan before the end of the season.