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The Walking Dead’s Negan wasn’t meant to be on the show this long

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's fan-favourite Walking Dead character Negan was only meant to be on the show for three years, but is still kicking around

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead

Jeffrey Dean Morgan exploded into long-running zombie series The Walking Dead in the season 6 finale, way back in 2016. Negan and his trusty baseball bat Lucille started off by bashing the brains of some of Rick’s loyal Survivors and went on to wage all-out war that didn’t end until the season 8 finale.

The eleventh and final season sees Negan as a change man, rehabilitated in jail. And he’s even formed a truce with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), leading to an upcoming spin-off starring the two of them. But Morgan never planned to still be in The Walking Dead universe eight years later, as he initially signed on for three years.

Speaking at NYCC, Morgan said; “I think, originally, it was gonna be three years. I think that was [the plan]. I had a conversation with Scott [Gimple, executive producer and then-showrunner], and it was like, ‘You gotta be on it for at least three years if you want to be a part of this show.’ I was like, ‘That seems like a long time.'”

Morgan continued; “Little did I know that eight years later or whatever, we’d still be here. That eight years has gone by like that. Like that. I can’t believe that we’re here and celebrating the end of this show as we know it. It’s unbelievable to me. There’s been so many kind of iterations of this show through the years – losing people, having people come back.”

Morgan added: “It’s been one hell of a fucking ride, I’ll say that. Thank you, all of you, for coming along all these years, as well. Longer than I’ve been here, for sure.”
The Walking Dead
Morgan has ended up having a longer tenure on The Walking Dead than any of his other TV shows, such as Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy or The Good Wife. He is now busy preparing for the spin-off he’ll be filming with Cohan, which is set in “a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror.”
However, he has ensured that there will be time for him to pop to the set of Supernatural showrunner Eric Kripke’s successful Prime Video series The Boys, which is currently filming its fourth season. It’s likely to just be a cameo or small supporting role, given his other commitments, but it’s definitely happening.
While we wait to find out more about Morgan’s Walking Dead spin-off, and his role in The Boys, check out our guide to the best horror series.