Even with AMC's The Walking Dead officially wrapped, there's still a lot of the TWD universe to explore in 2023 and beyond. It's a future that includes a new season of Fear the Walking Dead, a second season (fingers crossed) of the anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead, and spinoffs focusing on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) & Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) & Michonne (Danai Gurira). For this go-around, Morgan is checking back in to share some additional thoughts with EW on how viewers can expect a bit more "Negan 1.0" than they may have expected, considering how "redeemed" he seemed in the series finale.
"I think time apart probably will make it worse. Negan has an opportunity to kind of fall into some old habits, because it's all a survival mechanism for him, especially if he's not with the group. The group kind of tamed him in a lot of ways, and to fit in, he had to stop being who he was. And I think away from this group, he is likely to fall into some old traps and old behaviors," Morgan explained when asked if he thought Negan's time away from Maggie was a good thing for him. Because Negan's survival instinct will always drive him to do just that… survive. "We know how Negan has survived. We have seen him in his progression on how he's survived and what he does to adapt, and I think he will always be adaptable in any situation. But away from people, he doesn't do well."
And Morgan isn't a big fan of the idea that time apart would change Maggie's perceptions of Negan. "As uneasy of an alliance it is that Maggie and Negan have, I think Negan being out of Maggie's line of sight for a couple years is still never going to make what happened to her go away. I don't know if us getting along in any way is going to last. I don't know if it can," Morgan shared. And a big part of the blame for things not running as smoothly as they could (and should) rests at the feet of Morgan's on-screen alter-ego. "Negan is a bit of a screwup. He's just that guy that you want to smack. He's a punchable guy, and I understand that, being the guy that says the stuff that comes out of his mouth. I want to punch him sometimes!" Morgan admits with a laugh. Adding new faces to the equation doesn't exactly make for a better fit, either. "Look, we know that he's going to run off to New York City. It's him and Maggie, and there's not a lot of people with him. So, if I do the math on this, he's going to be in trouble. It's going to be a bad combination for him."
With Gaius Charles (The Wonder Years, Friday Night Lights), Mahina Napoleon (NCIS: Hawaii), Željko Ivanek (Damages), and Jonathan Higginbotham (The Blacklist) also set to star, here's a look at one of our first looks at AMC's The Walking Dead: Dead City. Following that, Morgan shares some thoughts on the Negan that viewers can expect to see when the series premieres (tentatively) in April 2023:
"I think that this spinoff is going to take place a couple of years after the Walking Dead finale, and here's the problem with those couple of years – – we don't see what happens to these characters. Negan has an opportunity to fall into his old ways in these missing years. He is very much a creature of habit, and he knows how to survive," Morgan revealed to Deadline Hollywood during an interview late last month. "When he was with our group, there was another way to survive, and he tried to adapt to those ways. I'm worried [about] whatever happens in these two years away from our group, what he will become, and who he will become. And so, when Maggie and he are together again, the chance that Negan isn't who we see as when we leave him here on the show." And that's because Negan has a very scary ability to adapt to his surroundings, no matter what that might take. "I think is a pretty good chance that he's not going to be that guy anymore because he adapts to his surroundings and things are f*cking rough. He's going to go back to some old habits," Morgan added.