The actor is best known for roles in the likes of Supernatural, The Good Wife, and Watchmen, and this is a perfect bit of casting. The character leads a group known as The Saviours who use force and intimidation to subjugate other communities, and that’s something Rick Grimes isn’t willing to tolerate when Negan comes calling at the Alexandria Safe Zone.
Negan first joined The Walking Dead in issue #100, and killed off a major fan-favourite character by bashing their head in with a barbed wire covered baseball bat called “Lucille”.
Other actors who were considered for what should be a key role in The Walking Dead’s confirmed seventh season include Timothy Olyphant, Matt Dillon, and Garret Dillahunt.
Earlier this year, showrunner Scott M. Gimple acknowledged that introducing Negan would be “challenging” due to his famously foul mouth, but that it could happen. “There’s a particular story in that arc that I’m very excited for. But because we know where we’re going, we have some opportunities to play around with it and put some things in that will lead up to [Negan and Alexandria] in different ways yet fulfill the story Robert told to the Nth degree by utilizing some slightly different approaches. Lineups and timelines and the whole nine yards.”