The Walking Dead TV series has done little to tell the story of how its villainous Negan arrived in his powerful position, but that may soon change.
The popular AMC series has plans to tell the villain's backstory which was recently told in its entirety on the comic book pages of Here's Negan, a 16-part backstory special from writer/creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard published in the Image+ preview magazine. When asked by YahooTV if Negan's story would be adapted to the TV series, showrunner Scott Gimple says there is a "loose plan" for it already.
"I do believe yes, it's in the future," Gimple said. "You know, I'm always careful about this, [because] things can absolutely change. There's a loose plan in place I have."
More specifically, Gimple promises Negan's backstory will stay true to the comic book source material, at least in part. "I take that Here's Negan story as the backstory," Gimple said. "There's some aspects of it that will probably be cool [on the show]. It's some fairly far-flung stuff… in the future, you will see some stuff from that."
Gimple's comments came during the show's seventh season, just before the midseason finale aired. The remainder of the seventh season steered clear of the villain's backstory, meaning audiences have only gotten closer to the story being told.
Negan's backstory caught most reader's by surprise, as some aspects of it actually earned the villain a touch of sympathy from readers...
Spoilers for Negan's backstory as told in the Here's Negan comics follow.
The common word of Negan being a car salesman prior to the apocalypse is incorrect - having spawned in a years-old Letter Hacks section where Kirkman teased the possibility.
Prior to the zombie virus taking over, however, Negan was a high school gym teacher and a ping pong coach. He wasn't just any gym teacher, though. Negan wanted to be the cool teacher. He cursed at his students and gave them a hard time when they would fail, which he saw as a method of pushing them - even when they would feel bullied and start to cry.
Before everyone around him started to die, Negan had a wife. During his marriage, however, Negan began having an affair. His wife had full knowledge of the affair and allowed it to happen as she saw that Negan was happy with it, despite how it hurt her.
When Negan's wife became diagnosed with terminal cancer, he immediately cut off his relationship with the other woman and tried to spend as much time with his wife as possible. The villain finally realized that he loved her, but she was furious that it took her cancer to make him cut off the affair. Still, he pushed her around in her wheelchair in the park and stayed by her side in the hospital until the end.
Negan's wife's name was Lucille.prevnext
When Would It Air?
If The Walking Dead TV series wants to tell Negan's story at the same time the comics did, the character's rise into villainy, an episode - or series of episodes - would likely be featured around Season 10 or Season 11. By the time Negan's story is told in the Here's Negan book, the main Walking Dead comic series had already concluded the All Out War story and launched its Whisperer War story a couple of years later.
Luckily for fans hoping to see more of the villain, Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan tells ComicBook.com he is with the series for "the long haul." No one should expect the villain to go anywhere any time soon.
Of course, certain aspects of The Walking Dead's comic book story have been altered to accommodate the TV series' needs. The Oceanside community, for example, was introduced well ahead of its debut in the comics. The Walking Dead reserves the right to tell Negan's story as early as Season 8 while the character is the hottest topic of the series.prevnext
The Walking Dead is no stranger to flashbacks.
Previously, flashback sequences have shown Lori and Shane as they attempted to leave Atlanta as the world fell apart, Abraham and Sasha having a conversation 17-episodes after it would have happened, and Hershel delivering a sentiment to Rick about how the world can still be peaceful and civilized.
For the most part, though, the series has stayed away from mid-episode flashback scenes. Still, there has been an entire episode dedicated to telling the Governor's story months after he was chased out of the prison and Woodbury was destroyed.
Either of the aforementioned formats are possibilities for Negan's backstory being told on television.
"Might need to get Damon Lindelof to do it," Gimple joked. "It might be rather Lost-ian, but we're talking a good while away."prevnext
More Walking Dead
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead returns September 10th. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.prev