Just a few weeks ahead of The Walking Dead’s eighth season premiere, Morgan spoke a bit about how he refuses to play Negan as a straight villain.
“I have to be careful because the writers have so much fun with Negan and his dialogue that I have to be very careful in kind of tampering that dialogue in places to keep it open to other interpretations, because everybody wants him to be this big bad but I just can’t play him like that," Morgan told Entertainment Weekly. “I refuse to, and there’s more to him than that. This year Gimple and I are on a mission to find him in there.”
Morgan hopes to one day explore why Negan is the way he is with an episode telling the character’s origin story.
“And you know, I always am hoping that, at some point, we do a backstory episode for Negan, because it’s an amazing story,” he said. “I don’t know that that’s going to happen this year, but we are going to see enough of him and he talks quite a bit, as you know. So he’s going to reveal some of himself to the audience this year, which is going to be awesome. It’s going to be fascinating. Of course, he’s still going to be a big f—ing dick!”
Negan’s history has been told in a standalone The Walking Dead graphic novel titled Here’s Negan, originally released in chapters in Image+ magazine. Without spoiling too much here, the story does a stellar job of explaining where some of Negan’s more memorable personality traits come from, and even reveals the origin of his trusty weapon, the barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille. The hardcover edition of Here’s Negan will be released on October 4, 2017.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its eighth season on October 22, 2017.