‘The Walking Dead’: Jeffrey Dean Morgan Teases Danai Gurira About Negan and Michonne Romance

Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan has taken a liking to Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) daughter Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming), but Morgan doesn’t expect Negan to replace Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as the girl’s new adoptive dad.

“I’ll say this, that Danai and I have talked about it in-between takes. It usually gets her really mad,” the Walking Dead star said with a laugh aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2019 when asked if Negan will try moving in on Rick’s woman.

“I don’t know that that will necessarily happen. But hey, we can dream!”

Michonne next confronts Negan in Sunday’s 912, ‘Guardians,’ after he voluntarily returns to his Alexandria jail cell following his fruitless journey into the outside world.

Judith assumes the role of confidant for Negan from her late half-brother Carl (Chandler Riggs), whose comic book counterpart sneaked away to Negan’s cell for private conversations. Rick’s departure from the series earlier this season hands his comic book counterpart’s story to Michonne, who now serves as the de facto leader of Alexandria.

“We all internally [in the writers’ room] love the relationship between Negan and Carl in the comic book,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told THR.

“This gave us an opportunity to tell a very different sort of story, because Judith is a different kind of child than Carl. It’s really fun to put those two together. They get to have some very interesting scenes together this season.”

Kang added The Walking Dead wanted to tell “a very different story for Negan, since we’re dealing with a different kind of passage of time than we saw in the comics,” which jumped ahead roughly two years after the ousted Savior leader was jailed.

“We thought hard about how prison might affect this character, and the confinement that he’s had, and the limited access he’s had to the community and the world beyond,” she said.

“It’s a big part of his story, going forward: exploring Negan and where he’s at in his journey in things, and the kinds of complex relationships he has with the various people in Alexandria — including this sort of secret relationship he has with Judith.”

Part of that dynamic is used to uncover new shades of Negan, who is expected to head down a path of attempted redemption following his near eight-year solitary imprisonment for his vicious crimes.

“I think that the arc that he’s on, I think he started off one way, and he’s on a journey. And we’re seeing a different side to him right now,” Morgan said during Walker Stalker Cruise.

“What we do for a living up here, we try to find as many different shades as possible, and Negan is finally having a different shade, which is nice.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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