Batter up! In Season 10 of The Walking Dead, jailbird “Negan is out and about,” says showrunner Angela Kang. “This has been part of the plan for his character that started with last season. So for fans who were kind of itching for more of him, there will be a lot of Negan fun this year.”
Although Glenn and Abraham’s murderer will revel in his freedom, “Negan is still Negan,” Kang admits. “He can’t help but push people’s buttons.”
This time around, however, the Saviors’ former leader might be more careful about which buttons he pushes and on whom. “I think in the comics, even if he called Rick the King S— Motherf—er, he’s used to being that guy himself,” Kang points out. “So to be in jail for years was a big ego blow. He wants to be important. He wants to be valued. So that can take many different forms.”
If you’re uncomfortable with the way that your feelings for the reformed (?) baddie are softening — especially after his rescue of Judith and Dog in Season 9’s finale — the EP understands. “But that’s the genius of Robert Kirkman [who wrote the source material],” she says. “He created this villain who is so much fun, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, am I supposed to like him? This is very confusing.’ That’s where the character lives.
“Part of the joy for me in writing Negan is figuring out, ‘What is he up to? Is it OK that I like him right now when he’s saying this stuff that’s really f—ed up?’ That’s a lot of what we’re doing with the character this year, and it’s really fun.”
Season 10 of The Walking Dead kicks off on AMC on Sunday, Oct. 6 (9/8c).