Now that The Walking Dead is back and Negan was name-checked right out of the gate in the mid season premiere, we’re waiting with baited breath to see when he will make his grand entrance.
But it seems that we may no know what exactly we’re going to get until we are actually watching it. So just how close to the comic’s nightmare character will Jeffrey Dean Morgan get? Well, The Walking Dead writer and creator Robert Kirkman has been talking about him and his love of, em, colourful language: “I would say that there are certain words that try as I might, we are not allowed to say on AMC, and those are certain words that Negan likes to say.
“So those words are going to be filmed, and people are going to be able to get those words, but there are definitely some broadcast limitations that we’re going to have to deal with. We’re sorting that out now, but I will say that, worst-case scenario, the extras will be extra-special on Blu-ray. I mean, we’re trying to explore some other more interesting options, but that’s the bare minimum of what we’ll be doing.”
Showrunner Scott Gimple adds that it may be on the home release that Negan will truly be himself: “I’m still finishing up season 6, so there are still aspects of these questions that I’m figuring out. But I will say that my goal is for, at the very least, in some way — might not be all the time, and it might not even be directly through your TV box — that people will be able to get full-octane Negan.
“I’m still playing around with it,” he adds, “but I will say I do have the material two ways right now. I’ll see what I can do with it. One way or another I want people to see full-octane Negan. Will I be able to shoot every scene like that? Probably not, but to tell you the truth, I think we will get as close to the version of full-octane Negan as we can through some version of the show or another.”
Executive producer and VFX guru Greg Nicotero added: “[Scott Gimple said] It’s Negan that we’re going to have problems with because every other word of Negan’s is f—.’ 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.”
So there you go, it seems the issue isn’t Negan’s profound love of bloodcurdling violence that’s an issue, but his bad language. Huh, who knew?