Jeffrey Dean Morgan is interested in exploring Negan's backstory possibly via a flashback episode in the upcoming season of The Walking Dead. AMC'S post-apocalyptic series is gearing up for its eighth season due to arrive this month and fans are already buzzing in anticipation with how the All-Out War between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan would pan out for both teams.
The last time we saw the Alexandrians, the remaining survivors have finally come together and decided to retaliate against the show's current big bad. Alongside them are those from other communities including Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) Kingdom and the Hilltop group. Despite the promise of an action-packed season that appears will also going to be a battle of wits between the warring factions, Morgan wants to take a breather from the commotion and possibly go on a smaller scale-episode that would reveal how his villainous and ruthless character came to be.
Speaking with EW in light of the upcoming premiere of The Walking Dead season 8, the actor was candid regarding his approach to playing Negan. He explained that although he is perceived as this very cruel person, he and showrunner Scott Gimple are interested in diving more into the character and eventually presenting him in a way that he is not just a one-dimensional villain.
“I have to be careful because the writers have so much fun with Negan and his dialogue that I have to be very careful in kind of tampering that dialogue in places to keep it open to other interpretations, because everybody wants him to be this big bad but I just can’t play him like that. I refuse to, and there’s more to him than that. This year Gimple and I are on a mission to find him in there."
The Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy alum furthered by revealing that he is actually very much interested in dedicating even just a single episode in the show's new season to showing what kind of man he was before he became the suave but deadly bat-wielding leader of the Saviors:
“And you know, I always am hoping that, at some point, we do a backstory episode for Negan, because it’s an amazing story. I don’t know that that’s going to happen this year, but we are going to see enough of him and he talks quite a bit, as you know. So he’s going to reveal some of himself to the audience this year, which is going to be awesome. It’s going to be fascinating. [pauses] Of course, he’s still going to be a big f—ing dick!”
Last season, The Walking Dead received some backlash from fans for having some filler episodes that took away the spotlight from our main heroes at a time when we were all clamoring for what is next for the Alexandrians. However, if the show decides to roll-out another "breather" episode with regard to showing Negan's backstory, audiences would arguably be more receptive to the idea as it directly connects to one of the most pivotal characters in the show right now and it also enriches the lore with establishment of the villain's history prior to the apocalypse.
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres on Sunday, October 22nd on AMC.