Walking Dead Showrunner breaks Negan’s evil grin and the “most powerful” scene of all time: “It’s so strange, isn’t it?”
The ending of the excellent Negan-centered finale of Season 10 of The Walking Dead on Sunday seemed like the beginning of something big – and possibly the rebirth of a great evil. (Read the full summary here.)
What about that h-eating grin shot by the reformed (?) Villain Maggie, the protagonist he had widowed? Could we have another look back to see how Laura went from selfless doer to ruthless savior? And how the hell did the show spark Negan’s apology for the murder weapon he named after his late wife, Lucille? Here to tell TVLine everything – at least most of it – is showrunner Angela Kang.
TVLINE | Let’s start at the end. I translated that look when Negan shot Maggie entering Alexandria again as: “Watch out, baby, Bad Negan’s back!” Should we take it that way?
[Laughs] I took it like, “Okay, I heard you were going to kill me, but I made a promise to my wife that I would be brave, so here I am and you will have to take care of it.” We’ll both have to take care of it. “It’s not necessarily like, ‘I’m bad,’ but rather, ‘I have the right to be in this room.’ They all hold their own, and that could lead to conflict between the two.
TVLINE | I guess that’s putting it mildly. But would Maggie really kill Negan? Because she already had the chance …
She did. I think Carol’s instinct [in warning him] is that this will not be easy for either of them and it could turn out to be explosive. Before that, Maggie had all the power because he was behind bars. But Negan is free now. And you know, she showed him no mercy when she left him alive in prison. She said, “He is miserable. He can stay in prison forever. It’s almost better than letting him die! “But the whole situation is now upside down.
TVLINE | What did Negan mean when he told Lucille that he was going to let her fight for her now?
For him this means that he has to go out into the world and do things that scare him. What was scariest for him was accepting that his wife was going to die and he would have to do this without her. What is difficult for him now – and we tried not to be too close – is the idea of being in the same room as Maggie and finding out what their shared traumatic past means for the future. He doesn’t like to deal with things like that. It’s easier for him to crack a joke or just make a brutal decision. So for him [doing Lucille’s fighting means] claim a place in society and find out what he wants to be in the future.
TVLINE | Did you have any idea how much the audience wanted that apology for Negan naming his bat after his wife?
[Laughs] You know what? We stole this from the comics because it’s just that really weird moment that is so memorable. I said, “We really need to find out how to do this” – because it’s so weird, isn’t it? It’s weird that he named the bat after her! But what’s cool is that when an actor like Jeffrey Dean Morgan suddenly does, that bizarre “Wow, man really apologizes to a bat” moment becomes sort of a tear-catcher telling his wife everything he does love her and it really is like … i believe it! We hoped it would work, and it did even better than I had hoped.
TVLINE | Little did I know Laura would be in the episode until the boom, there she was. Could there be another backstory in season 11, maybe to explain how she became the Savior?
I can’t say never because we’re still working on some parts of the season. But I probably don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a repetition of this backstory in something else because other things are brewing in the universe at all times.
TVLINE | Was it difficult to resist the temptation to give us a glimpse into the Commonwealth?
We have another way in [that arc from the comics] on the show. Knowing we were going to have something to do, we said, “Let’s just keep it clean because we have a plan for how this will all turn out.” [Plus,] We were thrilled to finally do a version of “Here’s Negan” because we’ve been trying to fit one in for a number of years.