Nothing has been announced by AMC, and all of this is based on rumors, but there’s enough evidence piling up to make a fairly educated guess as to who might be cast as Negan on The Walking Dead.
For the unfamiliar, Negan is an upcoming villain in the series, and he’s even bigger and badder than the Governor: He’s a foul-mouthed, brutal, psychotic sociopath who is into mind games and also has a certain brand of charm that makes him even more dangerous because he can will over people.
Rumors have circulated for a while that he may be introduced in season six, mostly on account of the fact that a character named Jesus will join the series, and in the comics, Negan’s introduction is not too far behind. I personally believe they’ll probably introduce Negan in the season’s final episode, much in the way they introduced Michonne: We get a glimpse of him to keep us excited about the seventh season.
Who will be cast as Negan?
Possibly Garret Dillahunt, the Deadwood alum (so good they cast him twice!) and excellent all-around character actor, who also can do comedy (see, e.g., his phenomenal turn on Raising Hope).
Why is it believed that Dillahunt could take on the role?
This tweet set off the speculation:
Compendium three, of course, is when Negan is introduced to the comics.
The official account for The Walking Dead also acknowledged the tweet.
Thank you! We’re big fans! https://t.co/bQEC8pkgwC— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) November 2, 2015
In addition to that, The Walking Dead cast member Alanna Masterson recently began following Dillahunt on Twitter and, more convincingly, so did showrunner Scott Gimple, who only currently follows 300 people. Dillahunt, likewise, began following Gimple and The Walking Dead account.
That certainly suggests that, at the very least, Dillahunt may be joining the cast soon (or he’s trolling us), and given his jawline resemblance to Negan and the fact that he’s probably the most well-known actor to potentially be cast on The Walking Dead, it certainly lines up.
He also seems to be playing coy with this tweet (the baseball bat pictured is “Lucille,” the bat used by Negan in the comic).
Harley Quinn? 😇 https://t.co/1t6eq0P0Kd— Garret Dillahunt (@garretdillahunt) November 5, 2015
It would be perfect casting, no offense to Jon Hamm (an early fan favorite for the role).
(There is also speculation that Dillahunt could be cast, instead, as Dwight, one of Negan’s lieutenants. In the comics, Dwight is actually introduced before Negan).
Rumor also has it that Negan will begin filming on The Walking Dead later this week.