Jeffrey Dean Morgan Walking Dead Negan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Joins Walking Dead Cast as... Infamous Villain Negan!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is about to go from Good to really, really, really bad.

Sources confirm that the current Good Wife actor is joining The Walking Dead as one of the Biggest Bads of ’em all — dreaded comic book villain Negan.

Morgan’s killer of men is expected to debut toward the end of the AMC hit’s current sixth season (in other words, sometime this spring), and then return in Season 7 as a (likely) series regular.

neganMorgan’s new gig isn’t expected to have an immediate impact on his Good Wife duties since Walking Dead‘s annual production hiatus begins in late November and continues until late spring. That said, it seems unlikely that he would be able to bring his investigator character Jason back to the Good Wife next fall for a potential eighth season. (As it is, Morgan’s Good Wife deal was always just for the current Season 7).

Rumors about if and when The Walking Dead would introduce Negan have been churning for several years now. A big reason the character has been the source of so much speculation is because [SPOILER ALERT] in Robert Kirkman TWD comic series he eventually murders Glenn. Of course, the current mystery surrounding Glenn’s fate (and Steven Yeun future with the series) adds a whole new wrinkle to the Negan storyline.

Last month, The Walking Dead issued a casting notice for the role of “Orin,” an imposing, charismatic, brutal, frightening, ferocious and hilarious sociopath in his 30s to mid-40s that is both a leader (and killer) of men. When asked if “Orin” is actually “Negan,” showrunner Scott M. Gimple told me, “I can neither confirm nor deny,” before cheekily adding, “It’s not the worst guess in the world. It’s difficult to get around your logic here.”

Thoughts on the casting? Weird to think of JDM playing someone so… evil? Weigh in below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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143 Comments
  1. NatesMama says:

    Excellent casting choice.

    • Ari says:

      Seriously. JDM is going to make an excellent villain!

      • Mike M says:

        Totally agree – you just know he is going to be brilliant. My burning question now, with all the people about to proclaim it definitely means he will kill Glenn, is whether Gimple is sitting in a dark corner of the writers room chuckling to himself over how he just wrote Morgan killing Morgan… Bat versus stick; double down irony.

        • linda g says:

          I like it. Morgan&his all life is precious has to go.Wolves want to kill everyone. But this casting is absolutely perfect. Brute w a sense of humor

  2. Cherise says:

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Not Big Daddy Winchester!!!!! He’s a hero, not a villain!!!!!!
    I don’t think I’ll be able to watch. He’s a talented actor though, so I know he’ll kill it.

    • Mo says:

      I wouldn’t call John Winchester a hero, personally..

      • A says:

        Right?!? John Winchester was kind of a dick . . .

        • Kelly says:

          Hey he did save his son..

          • Cherise says:

            He was a harsh and abrasive, but he risked his life to save the lives of others on multiple occasions…the former doesn’t negate the latter.

        • Tawrens says:

          John Winchester is a hero. He had a hell of a lot to deal with. His wife murdered, his kids in danger by the thing that killed their mother. Having to learn what it was and when he did how to fight it and all that after finding a way to accept that world was real and not just old wives tales. I think he did damn good with all he had thrown at him. And on top of that became the sole provider for a infant and a toddler. And yet he still managed to raise his boys to know right from wrong, how to say no and have the backbone to back it up not only in words but in other ways if necessary. He made sure that anything happened to him the boys could take care of themselves. He may not of been the 9-5 dad Sam wanted but if he had been Sam would ended up leading Lucifer’s army and John and Dean would dead.

          • What you call a hero I call a neglectful father. He put his sons in a life Mary never wanted for them, he moved them school to school- went missing for days at a time, sometimes months. Pushed his sons away in attempt to seem like a hero but in reality he was just selfish. Even though he “saved” dean it doesn’t mean anything because if he had done the right thing from the start this wouldn’t have even happened. He was a crap parent, but a great hunter.

          • Nate says:

            So much fighting! What we all need to unite and realize, here, is that Supernatural is an awful show.

          • Bonnie says:

            Supernatural wasn’t an awful show to begin with. They should have finished in Season 5. It has seriously went downhill from then on. What with them making angels out to be so manipulative.. their storyline on Lucifer, and the Mark of Cain is really stretching the Bible. I look at it with fiance, but don’t enjoy it like I did when Sam and Dean just hunted demons and well, supernatural things. Like Jensen and Jared though. As for John, he was not even suppose to be alive on the show. Remember Mary’s deal with yellow eyes? I think it’s a good casting choice for Neagan, though.

      • Carrie says:

        Well, John Winchester probably saved hundreds of people during his career as a hunter. I’d say that makes him a hero.

      • ninamags says:

        Neither would I. I never cared for him. He was so distant (both physically and emotionally for a majority of the boys’ growing-up time that I didn’t care when he passed. It was the least he could do to save Dean.

      • Dovona says:

        Really he gave up his soul for his sons. That’s a hero

    • SW says:

      I’ve seen JDM play many villains before, and he’s really good at it. He can play both good characters and bad characters and nails it every time.

      • Cristie says:

        Yes he did, and even if you do not consider him a hero, consider the fact that this man raised two hero’s in between fighting his own demons in a rather unconventional way. But it worked! I think he’s an amazing actor! Love him!

        • Matt says:

          I can’t take him seriously. I guess from being a fan of Supernatural from the beginning and how his character ended, seeing him go to these lengths is not him. Now, the actor that plays Dwight, he nails it perfectly. Unfortunately, his leadership skills have not proven 100% effective.

  3. SayNay says:

    Oh snap! Great casting choice.

  4. tazzy says:

    I’m excited for this opportunity for him, but I am sure enjoying him on Good Wife!!

  5. Joy says:

    YAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

  6. aph1976 says:

    I like that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is joining The Walking Dead and it could be interesting to see how he is playing a villain.Plus i’m wondering if we won’t see his character until the final episode of the season and his first appearance could be the cliffhanger.

  7. Rebecca says:

    This is an outstanding casting choice! He’s going to be fantastic in this role! While he’ll always be Denny (and Papa Winchester) to me, he’s got a great physical presence that I think will be perfect for this role! Well done AMC and TWD producers!

  8. OHMIGAWD! I don’t think they could pick anyone better to play this role because I literally picture Jeffrey Dean Morgan when I’m reading Negan.

  9. A fan of TV says:

    I don’t see how this wonderful man is going to make it possible for me to hate Negan but he’s welcome to try. Seriously, Denny Duquette/John Winchester murdering people with a razor-write baseball bat? I’m already gonna cry, but bring it on.

    • LC says:

      If the portrayer of Denny Duquette can make us hate him, then it’s a tribute to his acting skills. But I’m totally loving this casting!

      • A fan of TV says:

        Agreed, as Negan is the worst human being in Walking Dead history, this will be a major, major role for him. Not that we’ve ever needed to verify or justify his acting skills, already know he’s amazing which is one of the reasons I love him. I’m as excited about this as I am worried about hating Negan for what I believe he’s going to do, even though it’ll be in the body of Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

    • Win says:

      Arguably, Negan is a charming villain. You might just [sadly] like him in spite of what he’s capable of. But I do say “might,” because maybe I’m just that messed up! :)

    • S says:

      Check out Watchmen. Denny was a dreamboat, John Winchester was a hero/kinda alright dad, but The Comedian was a rough tough douchebag. JDM is such a versatile actor and will totally kill it as Negan.

      • Kristy K says:

        He was fantastic on the Watchmen! He also starred in a now cancelled show called Magic City. He is an amazing actor, and extremely easy on the eyes!

    • Philip Padilla says:

      I remember watching “The Condemned” and Vinnie Jones made me despise his character. Vinnie Jones looks and acts like a real life Negan and I thought he would have been the best for the role.

  10. chaosrainz says:

    I’ll definitely hate seeing him as a bad guy! But this should be fun to watch, too. :)

  11. wrstlgirl says:

    OMFG!!!!! Papa Winchester!!! Excellent choice.

  12. LC says:

    I had to clap my hand over myself to keep myself from squeeling with delight right in my office! LOL! Love this!

  13. Gina says:

    Full disclosure: I haven’t read the comics, I only watch the show. But I obviously read enough about TWD universe to think that this is a perfect casting choice.

    I’m excited and terrified for my faves at the same time.

  14. Steven says:

    The Good Wife can’t keep introducing random love interests for Alicia. Johnny, Finn, and now Jason are all just going to disappear. They have to lock someone down.

    • Morisot says:

      There’s always Peter. Maybe they should go on a trip to Paris…

    • mo says:

      Eli has been consistently in her life for good or bad

    • SW says:

      I agree. Alicia’s had great chemistry with all of them, and they all end up leaving. Granted, two out of the three have been because the actors wanted to move on to something else, but I wish they’d find an actor who wants to stick around for more than one season.

  15. Ange says:

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

  16. Jane says:

    Not sure how I feel about this. I love him as an actor so good. But he is John Winchester, maybe not the best person, but still Sam and Dean’s dad as a villain, so bad. It will be great seeing him on a show I watch again, so good. But this gives him another reason why he can’t come back on SPN, so bad. I have a headache.

  17. Guest says:

    I’m guessing none of you have seen Watchmen. Then you could really instead why he’s a fantastic choice.

    • Roosevelt says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. He’said going to be fantastic.

    • Tawrens says:

      Watchmen, Salvation. You want to talk creepy the Resident where he costarred with Christopher Lee and Hilary Swank. He owns abuilding Swank moves into and he goes all fatal attraction on her. *SHIVER* I admit though I’ll always see him as John Winchester.

    • Jane says:

      I saw it i just like to pretend i didn’t it was so bad.

  18. DarkDefender says:

    If he’s not gone yet, it was good knowing you Glenn. Good casting choice for Negan. Sounds awesome.

  19. Win says:

    Ooh, great casting! I hate to admit it, but this is one of those instances where a fictional character whose responsible for some really terrible things is still someone whose arc I find integral and intriguing. Like, I seriously feel a tad guilty for wanting Negan storylines in the comic and onscreen, whereas separating real world morality/personal viewpoints and fiction normally presents little/no issue in what I read, view, and listen to for leisure activities.

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan has got the right balance of Negan’s ruggedness, street smarts, charm, wit, and that twinkle/look in his eye that says “I can flip the switch (or Lucille) at any point.” If anyone thinks that last part doesn’t apply, check out The Good Wife – they’re playing around with a similar idea for the character he portrays there.

  20. Marilyn says:

    Noooooooooooo. I want his character to stay on “The Good Wife.”

  21. Great Casting imo. Really excited about this

  22. Juanita says:

    The only reason I’m sticking with the Good Wife was for Jeffrey Dean Morgan. After they killed Will off I was about done with the show. I’m getting sick of the story line. Can’t stand Peter, never could. If JDM goes, so do I.

  23. kirads09 says:

    JDM is EVERYWHERE these days and I for one am loving it.

  24. I literally “woah”ed out loud at work when I read this. Will be seriously interesting to see an actor I love play a character like that.

  25. Brian says:

    How are they going to really capture Negan on AMC is the question… That guy is almost too much for HBO and Showtime lol

  26. Susan Mapes says:

    Big fan of JDM. He is a great actor and I am excited to see him get to play the villian.

  27. Roosevelt says:

    When I heard Jeffrey Dean Morgan was going to play the new villain (which I was already looking forward to being introduced) I got super excited. He’s my favorite in everything I’ve seen him in. I can’t wait until Negan shows up.

  28. BillyBobJohnson says:

    No worries. TGW won’t get another season.

  29. Nicole says:

    This is the best news he will be awesome in the role!!!!

  30. Steve F. says:

    Wow! Big Daddy Winchester is now the biggest bad on The Walking Dead! (And yes, it’s going to be hard to see him swinging Lucille.)

  31. carrabus says:

    I like the casting, but I love him on The Good Wife! I’m torn!

  32. Megan says:

    I always pictured Jon Hamm as Negan when I read the comics, but this is a great choice. He was perfect as the Comedian in Watchmen.

  33. So I am guessing glen is alive, because negan brutally kills him in front of Maggie and Rick ughhhh!!!

    • S says:

      Seriously?!? Why do people who read the comics feel the need to spoil this stuff for people. Feel cool now??

    • SW says:

      **SPOILERS** A lot of people, myself included, have been speculating that someone else (like Daryl – for shock value) will take Glenn’s place, especially now that they’re doing this fake-out with Glenn dying. I don’t think they’d “kill” him twice in one season. With that said, it could also just be the writers wanting us to think they wouldn’t do it twice in one season so we think he’s safe and then surprise us when it does happen. Whoever Negan kills, it will have to be one of the main characters because that’s such an iconic scene from the comics. They wouldn’t put a secondary character in Glenn’s place.

      • If anyone gets the bat, I’m hoping it’s Morgan. He has so much to atone for with his past actions that this might give his character some much needed closure (and I don’t like him anyway so – meh. Let him croak).

      • Matt says:

        They will kill Glenn because his storyline fits what Morgan has been preaching all along. All life is precious and also when Glenn was in there killing the saviors, he saw those photos of people’s heads bashed in. Glenn is long overdue anyways. Some other characters should have lasted longer.

  34. Joe Deertay says:

    Not John Winchester! Come on, I’m still hoping for him to go back to Supernatural. He’s a hero.

    • Slp56 says:

      I agree with you I wanted hm back on Supernatural so badly. Especially the way the series is heading this season.But he is an excellent actor I’ll be watching. And still be hoping he’ll make a full return as John Winchester!!

  35. Bill says:

    Good idea for him to get a regular gig; God only knows what would happen if he got on the bad side of Margulies!!!

  36. Stefanny says:

    But…. How will I hate him if it’s JDM?

    No, seriously.

    Any Jeffrey Dean Morgan on my screen is a good thing.

  37. Joey newton says:

    Shoot that is cool choice but just saying id would work for free on that show its the best hint hint if you need more talent im able &willing.hope they dnt kill glenn he will have a baby soon

  38. A.B. says:

    Yeah, but side note what ever happened to Magic City the movie. Did that fall through.

  39. Becky says:

    I quit The Walking Dead halfway through the second year. I guess I’ll have to come back for the 7th year. Love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, hero or villain.

    • Jack says:

      Then you left before it became appointment television, when the good producers took over in season 3. You may want to go and catch up with what you missed.

      • Darren says:

        Season 3 and 4 were some of the worst pieces of storytelling I’ve ever seen in a TV show, ruining characters and dragging pointless arcs out to the point they become painful to watch and not in a I totally emphasize with the character way, no like just end this already. When the gang finally makes it to terminus they bury guns outside. Why?what was the point of that?The show finally gets on point in season 5 only to become muddled with another worthless pointless arc involving DC. The cannibals were not at all a major threat despite the last finale building them up as one and finally let’s get rid of Beth in the most pissed poor way possible and let’s not have any characters mention her ever again. Yeah the new producers are doing such a bang up job.

  40. sssusieq says:

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan is AWESOME in badass roles. I’m going to enjoy watching him work with this character over a season, even though he’s the baddest of the bad.

  41. Azerty says:

    Are you saying John Winchester is going to kill Glenn? (for real this time)???

  42. KB says:

    I am so looking forward to him playing Negan. I think he’ll be awesome.

  43. wrstlgirl says:

    Here’s hoping he’ll sign on for Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta 2016!!!!!

  44. Kristen says:

    OMG I’ve never been happier! Such a good casting choice, and JDM kills every role he’s every been in. I cannot wait to meet Negan! :)

  45. ItsATVShow says:

    Oh man, excellent choice! Can’t wait.

  46. Moonlight4evr says:

    The Good Wife’s LOSS is The Walking Dead’s Gain. He is an amazing actor and I cannot believe that The Good Wide did NOT sign keep him for next season. They made the same idiotic decision that Greys Anatomy did when they killed his character.

  47. Georgia says:

    Oh, no! I don’t want Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character leaving The Good Wife. He absolutely has made this season for me! I didn’t think I’d like him replacing Calinda. I was wrong. He is excellent! Hoping he is able to do both series!

  48. I am just going to say this, I don’t believe Glenn is dead! Even though it would have been impossible for him to have gotten away( even if the person being torn apart was Nicholas on top of Glenn) I think they are going to come up with some way for him to still be alive! Even though it would be unrealistic to do it, sense he couldn’t have crawled away while they were eating Nicholas, because not all those Walkers would have just kept trying to get some of Nicholas, when they’re was some fresh meat crawling away! The only possible way he could have even a small chance of getting away, would be if someone else came along with a gun and started mowing the Walkers down! But, if they do have him be dead now, then we have to worry about who is going to take his place with Negan! Even if he is somehow alive, they may have someone else get killed by Negan instead of Glenn, like Maggie, whether he’s dead or alive, they may replace him with her! Though I would hope that maybe they wouldn’t now that they made Maggie pregnant! But that still leaves plenty of other beloved characters to kill!

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Not trying to be mean but you’re about two weeks behind with this comment. This is The Walking Dead, nothing is impossible. Very few people believe Glenn is dead, theories about how he could have made it out of that herd are running wild and several possible replacements for Glenn in the Negan story range from Daryl, Morgan to Abraham.