The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan foresees redemption for caged bad guy Negan.
“We’re going to see a new side of Negan quickly in [season 9],” Morgan said at San Diego Comic-Con Friday. “A lot of him trying not to go crazy being in the situation he’s in. I think there’s redemption for Negan.”
The bat-wielding Savior leader was defeated and imprisoned by Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the closing moments of the season 8 finale, being told by Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) he was being kept alive as “evidence that we’re making a civilization.”
Rick’s decision will continue to prove controversial with the camp opposed to Negan being spared: namely Hilltop leader Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Rick’s right hand man Daryl (Norman Reedus), whose tight relationship with Rick will be shakier than usual this season.
“You’re definitely going to see us in disagreement [over Negan],” Cohan said at Comic-Con.
“The future looks different from everybody, and we get to explore that. [Maggie’s] child has no father and the person responsible for that is still around. When it really comes down to it, what do you do? That’s what this season is about.”
“It’s a different Negan, a different side of Negan,” Morgan shared. “He’s in a bit of a predicament and he’s having to face some stuff both internally and outside that he hasn’t had to deal with before.”
Asked by moderator Yvette Nicole Brown if he enjoyed a more relaxed role as a prisoner, Morgan said Negan enjoys his sit-downs with visitors to his cell.
“He likes to talk, so it’s important that people come and visit him,” Morgan said. “As an actor it’s been okay, but as the character I could be itching to get out of there.”
“We’re getting to see some sides of Negan that we’ve never seen before,” added new season 9 showrunner Angela Kang. “I mean, Jeffrey is f—ing amazing. You know, Negan is Negan and Negan likes to stir up trouble sometimes, so we will play with those stories.”