Jeffrey Dean Morgan Teases Tension With Maggie and Negan’s Evolution in The Walking Dead Season 11

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Teases Tension With Maggie and Negan’s Evolution in The Walking Dead Season 11

After taking a swing at a Negan origin story to end Season 10 of The Walking Dead, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan knows fans still love to hate the ex-villain-turned-anti-hero. But the biggest Negan hater of them all is the widowed Maggie (Lauren Cohan), now calling a tattered Alexandria home sweet home after an undercover Negan helped Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers burn down the Hilltop. As she fights for a future for her son Hershel Rhee (Kien Michael Spiller) — the child that Negan’s Lucille’d victim, Glenn (Steven Yeun), never got to meet — Maggie must once again step up as a leader of a group that begrudgingly counts Negan as a member.

“I don’t know if [‘Here’s Negan’] will ever sway the people that hate Negan. I think they’re just always gonna hate Negan,” Morgan said of the Season 10 prequel episode during The Walking Dead‘s Season 11 panel at virtual San Diego Comic-Con. “I think if there were people on the fence, that may have turned them a little bit, but I think the opportunity to do that and tell that story was exceedingly special.”

Filming the episode mid-pandemic with wife Hilarie Burton Morgan, who played Negan’s cancer-stricken wife Lucille, was “certainly one of the highlights of my time here on The Walking Dead, which has been many a moon now,” added Morgan. “I didn’t know that I would be here this long.”

Negan spent most of Season 9 behind bars, serving a solitary life sentence commuted by Carol (Melissa McBride) when she freed him to assassinate Alpha and help end the Whisperer War in Season 10. In Season 11, Negan is a free man but persona non grata in the otherwise tight-knit group of survivors trying to rebuild their devastated community.

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“I think there’s definitely an evolution of Negan. But I would be hard-pressed to say that old Negan will ever disappear, I think that will always be a part of who he is,” Morgan said. “But I think that at this point, he is trying everything he can to kind of fit in with this group of people. And I think he was doing okay until Maggie came back, and now it’s a whole new ball game for him, and one that he’s trying to figure out. But I think at a certain point, there’s just too much tension between the two of them. So we’ll see what happens.”

The Final Season of The Walking Dead premieres August 15 on AMC+ and August 22 at 9/8c on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.

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