The Walking Dead Season Nine will flip the relationship between Rick and Negan on its head, as the former is now in control of the villain who had bullied him into submission for far too long. While stopping by ComicBook.com's studio at San Diego Comic-Con, Andrew Lincoln and Jeffrey Dean Morgan opened up about the new dynamic between their characters, which was on display in the official Season Nine trailer.
"There's been a flip flop, obviously," Morgan said. "Rick Grimes is maybe enjoying his Negan time more than ever. It's been a lot of fun. When we came back to work this year, we ended last year with the throat slash. To get back in this position and to see Andy really digging in and having a good time with the Rick Grimes of it all, and me being on the other side of these bars, it's fun. I had a great time just watching him do his thing."
Watch the full interview in the video above.
Whereas Negan arrived on the show as a maniacal murderer, he will be contained to the confines of the prison built by Morgan Jones in an earlier season to think about what he has done. "This is an amazing new Negan," Lincoln said. "The scene that we had in the second episode, was amazing I think some of the writing in it, was the best writing you've had, I think. It was beautiful. Just the fact that we've got this history and two-year time jump, as well, I think just informs it in a much more nuanced way. And Jeffrey is just doing some beautiful acting, as well."
The updated version of Negan is one which Morgan is having a blast playing. "It's been a really great challenge and really great fun as an actor," Morgan said. "I felt like maybe I was stuck in a rut, a little bit. I needed Negan to move on and we needed to see a different side of him. I think, be careful what you wish for, because now there is a different side of Negan that is front and center. Negan is having a hard time with what he is seeing in himself and these guys are really having a good time."
In fact, Morgan is not the only actor having a good time on set and pouring everything out in front of the camera this year. "It's some of the best work I think anybody on the show has done," Morgan said. "Especially with Andy leaving, everyone is just stepping it up. That goes from the writing on down to the actors to the crew. There's a new vitality to the show, it feels like, and a lot of it has to do with Andy and us just keeping him alive on set."
Still, it's not looking like a friendship will be forming between the two archenemies any time soon. "Still, he's just as vindictive as he was with the baseball bat," Lincoln said. Negan doesn't need Lucille to attack Rick Grimes. "He's able to get inside Rick like no one else and worm his way with poison into his ear with truths that no one else wants to say. The chess game of these scenes was so much fun to play."
Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its fourth season on August 12th at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on October 7, 2018. For more updates and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!