The Walking Dead: Dead City Won't Ignore Negan Killing Glenn
"I am so sorry for what I took from you. What I took from your son," Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) told Maggie (Lauren Cohan) on The Walking Dead's series finale. Negan's contrite apology came after he saved the life of her son, Hershel, something Maggie promised she would "never forget." But Maggie also would never forget what Negan did to her son's father, Glenn (Steven Yeun): bludgeoning him to death with a barbwire-wrapped baseball bat as Maggie watched in helpless horror. "I can stop wondering if you'll ever say those words and if I can ever forgive you," Maggie replied, revealing her answer: "Because I know now — I can't."
Maggie may not have forgiven Negan, but she'll need his help to save a kidnapped Hershel (Logan Kim) on a dangerous mission into walker-mobbed Manhattan on The Walking Dead: Dead City.
"[Maggie and Negan's history] is not something that I was scared of, or that I felt like I was saddled with," the spin-off's creator and showrunner, Eli Jorné, said in the June issue of SFX Magazine. "In fact, I was like, 'This is the show!' When Glenn was killed, that was hard, obviously, when it's a beloved character who dies. But to me, the flip side of that was that this universe is going to tell the story of what happens when you lose someone that way. Not just for the person who lost him, but the person who did it."
Having written episodes of The Walking Dead season 10, including the Negan-centric "What It Always Is" and "Walk With Us," Jorné signed a development deal with AMC that led to Isle of the Dead: one of three announced Walking Dead spin-off shows, along with Daryl Dixon and Rick & Michonne. Since renamed Dead City, Maggie and Negan's spin-off explores what connects the two characters: grief, loss, and trauma.
Jorné researched real-life stories of forgiveness, including the story of a mother who wrote to the teenage murderer of her 17-year-old son.
"Over time, they formed this relationship, and for her that relationship with her son's murderer became the only path out," Jorné told SFX. "For these people, each other is the only person who — in the whole world — is as connected to that event as they are. Whether they are conscious of it or not, on some level they know that the other person is the only way out."
Jorné continued: "That young man who murdered the woman's son, when he really was faced with what he had done, he had his own struggle of realizing what he'd done. For Negan, that's so much of why he is a character we want to watch, because there's so much feeling in him." For Maggie, Jorné explained, "There's obviously the loss itself and the grief and what to do with that. And I'm so into telling their story because of everything that came before."
Also starring Gaius Charles (Grey's Anatomy) as New Babylon lawman Perlie Armstrong, Željko Ivanek (Damages) as The Croat, Mahina Napoleon (NCIS: Hawai'i) as Ginny, Jonathan Higginbotham (The Blacklist) as Tommaso, Trey Santiago-Hudson (New Amsterdam) as Jano, and Michael Anthony (The Game) as Luther, The Walking Dead: Dead City premieres June 15th on AMC+ and June 18th on AMC.
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