Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead series finale. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer — but not too close. Sunday's series finale of The Walking Dead, titled "Rest in Peace," laid to rest the seasons-long vendetta between enemies-turned-allies Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). After Negan apologized for killing Glenn (Steven Yeun) years earlier, Maggie realized she could never forgive the man who murdered her husband: "When I look at you, all I see is that bat coming down on his head ... So I can't forgive you. Even though I'm so grateful that you saved my son. Even though I know that you're trying. I'm trying, too. 'Cause I don't want to hate you anymore."
After Maggie said Negan and his pregnant wife Annie (Medina Senghore) were welcome to stay at the Commonwealth, a one-year time jump revealed Negan left the communities behind. When we see Maggie and Negan next in The Walking Dead: Dead City, another two years will have passed, putting the spin-off three years out since the old rivals saw each other last on The Walking Dead.
"I think that this spinoff is going to take place a couple of years after the Walking Dead finale, and here's the problem with those couple of years — we don't see what happens to these characters," Morgan told Deadline. "Negan has an opportunity to fall into his old ways in these missing years. He is very much a creature of habit, and he knows how to survive."
READ MORE ▸ Maggie and Negan Take Manhattan in First The Walking Dead: Dead City Teaser Trailer ▸ Lauren Cohan Previews Intimate, Layered Story in Maggie and Negan Spinoff ▸ It's Maggie vs. Negan in TWD: Dead City First-Look Images
Morgan continued: "When he was with our group there was another way to survive, and he tried to adapt to those ways. I'm worried whatever happens in these two years away from our group, what he will become and who he will become. And so, when Maggie and he are together again, the chance that Negan isn't who we see as when we leave him here on the show. I think is a pretty good chance that he's not going to be that guy anymore because he adapts to his surroundings and things are f-cking rough. He's going to go back to some old habits."
Negan earned trust when he risked his life to save Maggie and Glenn's son, Hershel Rhee (Kien Michael Spiller), earlier in Season 11. But as Maggie told him in the finale, it's not enough to ever forgive Negan.
"These characters are going to have a hard time functioning around each other, which is why I wanted to do Dead City so much, by the way. I just thought it was fascinating that you got two characters that kind of hate each other, having to find a way to work together," said Morgan. "We saw a little bit of that last season of The Walking Dead of them having to work together, and we saw how snarky they were with each other and how short they were. And so, I think Dead City is an opportunity to take that to the Nth degree and it'll be very interesting to see."
Added Cohan, "It's so cool, I have to be honest with you. I mean, it's just such a sense of renewal, even having done this for as long as we have to go into this new territory physically and emotionally with the depth that we're able to do."
Previously titled Isle of the Dead, the Maggie and Negan spin-off finds the two characters "traveling into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland," per AMC's synopsis. "The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror."
TWD: Dead City premieres April 2023 on AMC and AMC+.0comments