Although there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding a few of The Walking Dead characters heading into season 7, one of the certainties surrounding the show is the long-awaited impact Negan will have on the show going forward. Negan’s arrival in season 6 was a moment many comic book fans, and even a lot of fans who just watch the show, had been waiting for a very long time, but the frightening villain has arrived and made an immediate impact.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan on The Walking Dead, certainly looked the part when he was finally unveiled to the viewers at home. However, a hardcore punk rock legend recently dished that he came close to playing the iconic role of Negan on the show.
In an interview with Forbes, former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins revealed that not only was he up for the role of Negan, but the character from the comics was actually based on him. When asked about whether or not he’d like to appear on any TV shows, Rollins specifically mentioning The Walking Dead.
"Since I didn’t get the part I can tell you this. I was up for the role of Negan because Charlie Adlard, who worked on the comic book, based that guy on me and so I was a shoo-in for an audition. The internet was wild with speculation because in the upcoming season they were going to introduce the character as actually based on him."
Rollins gave a lot away in his answer to what appeared to be a pretty general question. In his answer, he says that not only was Negan based on him – at least, according to Charlie Adlard – that fact also made him a “shoo-in” for the major role. Even though the character may have been based on Rollins, he points out that after finding out he didn’t get the role and saw that Morgan got it, he understood why considering how similar Morgan looks like comic-book version of Negan.
Rollins may not have ultimately gotten the part, but based off his answer, he certainly seems to think he should have gotten the role. Rollins also mentions auditioning for other serious dramas, like Narcos, so it’s clear he’d like to get more involved in this area of television.
With how close Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks to Negan from the comics, it’s hard to see Rollins in the same role. Still, Rollins has shown from earlier roles, like on Sons of Anarchy, that he’s capable of playing disturbing villains whenever he has the opportunity. Choosing Morgan over Rollins probably won’t be something that haunts The Walking Dead in season 7, but it definitely would have been interesting to see someone as intense as Rollins play the role, too.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead is expected to premiere October 9th, 2016 on AMC.