THE WALKING DEAD villain Negan is so devious that showrunners shot two different versions of his introduction!
When you’re adapting a hardcore comic series like The Walking Dead for television, there’s bound to take some hurdles along the way.
Take horrific villain Negan, who will make his debut in the Season 6 finale. On top of being straight-up vicious, the leader of the chaotic gang known as The Saviors enjoys cussing, particularly with f-bombs. A LOT. Which, of course, the show can’t get away with on cable television.
To stay true to the tone and personality of the character, the show shot two versions of Negan’s big entrance. One is expected to pass the profanity standards set by AMC, the other is what Greg Nicotero lovingly refers to as “f— takes.”
There is a rhythm to it that even in some of the takes that we did. What I affectionately call the ‘f— takes’ have a completely different rhythm to them and a completely different feel. So while editing it, I was very careful to make sure that I preserved a lot of the performance without getting myself into trouble with the profanity.
Additionally, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who will portray the infamous Negan, says the show hopes to “push” AMC to get Negan’s despicable nature on par with the comics:
We’re going to push AMC — the plan is to push them as far as they can because it’s who Negan is. He uses some colorful language. And I use some colorful language. And reading the comic, it’s important … Some of the characters there’s much more leeway, but Negan is a guy that you want to keep as true as possible, and that would be how I want to play him as well.
If nothing else, the showrunners expect the “f— takes” to make it on the Season 6 DVD/Blu-ray release. They did the same for the final line of Season 4– “They’re f—ing with the wrong people” from the comics versus the show’s PC original “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”
How will it all play out in the end? We’ll find out this spring during The Walking Dead Season 6 finale!