Negan has only been present on The Walking Dead for a handful of episodes, but he’s already become a hallmark character for the show. As played by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan is as charismatic as he is sadistic.
Yet, we know painfully little about him.
For years, The Walking Dead comic book has kept Negan’s backstory secret as well. The show is currently following the basic storyline from the comics in its depiction of Negan and the Saviors. In the comics, Negan arrives in the same bombastic fashion as the show, but even in the events to follow, not much about his history is revealed.
A Loose Plan
The show, however, may actually reveal some details about Negan’s life prior to the Saviors. “I do believe yes, it’s in the future. You know, I’m always careful about this, [because] things can absolutely change,” says showrunner Scott Gimple. “There’s a loose plan in place I have.”
Earlier this year, readers got their first taste of Negan’s backstory. Creator Robert Kirkman launched a new short series called “Here’s Negan” in the pages of Image Plus magazine. Since April, new pages have debuted each month in the magazine, slowly revealing who Negan was before the apocalypse.
“I take that “Here’s Negan’ story as the backstory,” Gimple says. “There’s some aspects of it that will probably be cool [on the show]. It’s some fairly far-flung stuff… in the future, you will see some stuff from that.
“Might need to get Damon Lindelof to do it,” Gimple hints. “It might be rather Lost-ian, but we’re talking a good while away.”
If you’re not familiar with Damon Lindelof and his show Lost, it was famous for its ongoing use of flashbacks (and eventually flashforwards, as well).
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Gimple is implying that Negan’s backstory would be revealed in flashbacks. That makes sense if the goal is to actually show those scenes. Otherwise, certain details could simply be revealed through dialogue.
Here’s Negan (Spoilers)
There are still four more chapters in the “Here’s Negan” story to come, but here’s what we know so far.
Negan was a high school coach whose wife, Lucille, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Upon learning this, Negan left his mistress and devoted himself to his wife’s care. Lucille passed away just as the walker apocalypse began. Negan escaped the hospital with the help of a young boy who was soon killed by walkers. He then strikes up a friendship with a group of thugs and takes possession of a familiar-looking baseball bat.
So when will we see Negan’s backstory on screen, and how much of that story will we see? It’s already been confirmed that Negan will be around next season as well, so there’s plenty of time for the show to bring his history to life.
Prior to reading this article, did you know anything about Negan’s life before the apocalypse?
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