‘Walking Dead’ Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan Tweets to Fans to Stop Showing Up at His House

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s cool to be a fan, even a super fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” but Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, wishes people would stop descending on his home like a horde of zombies all the time.

The “Watchmen” and “Supernatural” actor took to Twitter on Tuesday to discourage fans from coming to his house, taking pictures and knock on his door.

“It’s rude and creepy,” Morgan tweeted. He also issued a warning: “And… you’re being recorded.”

Dear people that think it’s a solid plan to come to our house, take pictures, drive up to house, knock on door… it’s not a good plan. It’s rude and creepy. Respect our privacy please. And… you’re being recorded.

– Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) July 3, 2018

Yeah nerds, sometimes you really do take this stuff a bit too far. We’re guessing Morgan will soon be adding a little more security to keep people from cruising up his driveway and knocking on the door.

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“The Walking Dead” returns for its ninth season in this fall, while its sister AMC show “Fear the Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 pm Eastern and will return for the second half of its fourth season August 12. Both shows will be getting big panels later this month at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

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Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Just Hint at Future Villains, the Whisperers?

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(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” finally produced the showdown fans have been waiting for between Rick and Negan, bringing an end to the “All-Out War” story.

The final battle between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) saw Rick finally coming out victorious and deposing the Saviors. Though Rick and Negan didn’t wind up killing each other, it does mean that, going into Season 9, there’s no clear villain for Rick and his crew to fight against.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

The finale did hint at potential conflict brewing between Rick and his people — specifically, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). But it might also have suggested a new group of baddies that appeared in the comics, and up to now, haven’t shown up in the show at all.

That faction of bad guys is known as the Whisperers. They’re unique among the villainous factions in “The Walking Dead” comics. Rather than living in walled colonies or outposts like Alexandria or the Sanctuary, the Whisperers have adapted to life among the walkers. They disguise themselves as the dead and live among the herd, using them as an army and as protection. They’re called “the Whisperers” because they never speak louder than a whisper so as to stay hidden among the zombies.

The Season 8 finale might have suggested that the Whisperers are near. Before the final battle with Negan, Rick and his crew of fighters spotted a massive herd of walkers — bigger than anything they’d ever seen before. Rick remarked that things were changing in their world. He’d be right if that herd was actually the home to a brutal group of new enemies, hidden among the dead.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

There’s another potential hint about the Whisperers hidden in the episode, as well. As Rick and his team head to the battle, they pass a series of fence posts stuck into the ground. While these might just be the remnant of an old fence, they may also be a marker placed by the Whisperers. In the comics, the Whisperers use posts and pikes to mark their territory against intruders. It’s possible Rick just stumbled onto their border.

The Whisperers wear the skins and faces of the dead in order to blend in, and they’re pretty brutal in general. When they encounter the Alexandrians in the comics, the Whisperers cut off a few people’s heads, planting them on pikes in order to warn Rick and his people to stay out of their territory. Eventually, there’s a huge war between Rick and his people and the Whisperers.

It had seemed like the TV version of “The Walking Dead” meant to skip the Whisperers entirely, though. For one thing, a big part of the Whisperers story in the comics is Carl (Chandler Riggs), who isn’t dead in the comics but is on the TV show. In the comics, Carl strikes up a relationship with Lydia, the daughter of Whisperers leader Alpha. Without Carl, the Whisperers story would have to change significantly.

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There’s also that helicopter that kept showing up in Season 8, and Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who offered to give knowledge to the Hilltop in exchange for music and other amenities. Those elements seem to hint at another faction from the comics: the Commonwealth, a settlement Rick’s people discover only after their war with the Whisperers.

So it’s a bit of a toss-up where the show is headed next, especially with Maggie and Daryl hinting they might try to overthrow Rick — something that’s not in the comics at all. But with Negan still alive (something that does happen in the comics), it’s possible the show is still setting up the Whisperers. Negan has a big role to play in the war, and it forces him and Rick to grudgingly work together. That would make sense for a future arc for the fan-loved, and fan-hated, bad guy of Season 8.

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(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

The “All-Out War” has come to an end on “The Walking Dead,” with a final showdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that had a couple of twists.

Spoiler alert: Rick and his crew survived the battle with the Saviors and ultimately came out victorious. Rick didn’t kill Negan, though — instead, he told Negan he would be a prisoner as a testament to the fact that peace would be the new norm.

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It almost didn’t go Rick’s way, though. If it hadn’t been for the intervention of Eugene (Josh McDermitt) sabotaging Negan’s bullets, Rick and everyone else probably would have died. That’s because Negan executed a genius trap to get Rick just where he wanted him.

What exactly was Negan’s plan, though? At one point, it seemed like Rick had figured it out. So how did he and his crew still fall into Negan’s clutches?

It was a testament to the fact that Negan is a brilliant tactician that Rick fell for his elaborate ruse. First, Negan planted phony intelligence about his plans with Dwight (Austin Amelio) in the season’s penultimate episode. After Negan figured out that Dwight was a double agent working for Rick, he used that connection to give Dwight a fake plan for an attack on the Hilltop. Negan laid out a plan in which he and several groups of Saviors would surround the Hilltop and open fire from sniper positions.

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That plan, and the map that laid it out, was a trick. But Negan knew that Rick wouldn’t completely trust what Dwight gave him. Negan explained the rest of the plan to Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) on the drive out to the ambush location: He sent Saviors out to a road block, intending for Rick to find and eliminate them.

The Saviors at the road block were the second, especially brilliant part of Negan’s plan. He knew that Rick finding Saviors and taking them out would raise his confidence that he had got the drop on Negan. He didn’t know that Negan was purposely sacrificing those soldiers. And on one of the Saviors at the road block, Rick found another map. That made Rick believe the first map from Dwight was a trap, and the second map was Negan’s true plan.

Negan guessed that Rick wouldn’t trust the original map. But the second map was also a plant: Negan purposely engineered the situation so that Rick would find it, and let his Saviors get killed so that Rick would trust it.

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Meanwhile, Negan sent a second group to attack the Hilltop while Rick and his crew thought they were about to take down Negan. Luckily for the Hilltop, that attack failed, too — because Negan didn’t anticipate that the Savior prisoners there would band together to fight with the Hilltop. They helped beat the Saviors and save the settlement.

Negan’s plan was sound, but he couldn’t anticipate betrayal.

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(Note: This post contains spoilers of the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” hit fans hard with its Season 8 finale, bringing the “All-Out War” arc to a close in the most dramatic way possible.

The episode found Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew finally coming up against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors in a final showdown, a setup that left plenty of fans anxious. In the penultimate episode of the season, Negan revealed that he’d found that his lieutenant, Dwight (Austin Amelio), was actually a double agent who was aiding Rick. Negan used Dwight to deliver false intelligence to Rick, with the plan of luring him into a trap and wiping him and his people out.

Also Read: Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

Of course, things on “The Walking Dead” never quite shake out the way everyone expects. At first, just about everyone was ready for something awful to befall Eugene (Josh McDermitt):

Ugh. Eugene. Go away. #TheWalkingDead

— #StellarideIsRising/#teamjamko (@calhoun_monique) April 16, 2018

Hopefully Eugene bites the dust tonight #TheWalkingDead

— Ah Bee ???? (@itsAbhi_Raval) April 16, 2018

I used to find Eugene’s way with words cute & hilarious. Now it’s super annoying. I hope he’s dead soon. #TheWalkingDead #Wrath #TWD ????‍????????‍????

— Anjali B. ???? (@abenawra) April 16, 2018

Eugene sorry #TheWalkingDead #TalkingDead #deadbuzz pic.twitter.com/F5zh9qf6Ev

— Kendra Sisneros (@KennyLeeSissy) April 16, 2018

There was more freaking out when Negan successfully executed his trap, starting with the whistling.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

That whistle is the stuff of nightmares #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead #TWD #WalkingDead @AMCTalkingDead @TheWalkingDead

— Katie It’sPronouncedBitner (@kathrynbuettner) April 16, 2018

When the whistling start you know SHIT IS ABOUT TO HIT THE FAN!!!@WalkingDead_AMC @TheWalkingDead #TheWalkingDead #TWD #TWDFinale #TWDxFearTWD #TWDFamily

— ¤¤Bulletproof Cora¤¤ (@CD_Jinx) April 16, 2018

I dont think anyone understands how scared I get when I hear Negan’s whistle… #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead

— ????????‍Ebony????????‍ (@_Yongni_) April 16, 2018

But just when it looked like Negan was about to take out everyone and win the war once and for all, those bullets Eugene made for them backfired. Fans, understandably, flipped, and a few forgave.

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! ????‍ @WalkingDead_AMC @TheWalkingDead #TWD #TheWalkingDead

— ????Mike???? (@MjolnirMK86) April 16, 2018

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Eugene!! #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/R4sWpZd4Kq

— Thrillmonger (@CitizenGrime) April 16, 2018

Finally Eugene!! #TheWalkingDead

— Miguel Morales (@The_Basesquad) April 16, 2018

Eugene wins the war. #TheWalkingDead

— Rod Bias (@TheRodfather95) April 16, 2018

Eugene baby… forget whatever we said about you #TheWalkingDead

— scab (@atunatx) April 16, 2018

Me when the bullets fired back and killed the saviors… ????#TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/pMRjEsF0o9

— Taylor (@DarylDixonSwag) April 16, 2018

I just peed myself a little!! Thank you Eugene!!!! #TheWalkingDead

— Stephanie???????? (@ReedusFan2) April 16, 2018

But nothing was quite as hard-hitting as Rick and Negan’s final showdown, and how it played out. “The Walking Dead” pulled a fast one on viewers even as they watched it unfold, and it didn’t sit well with many watching.

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Maggie my heart is breaking with you ????#TheWalkingDead

— Kelly Floriani (@kellyfloriani) April 16, 2018

Negan might be the only person that can’t die like he’s supposed to #WalkingDead #thewalkingdead

— Brynn (@BeyondandAbove1) April 16, 2018

Tsk tsk Rick, Maggie deserved her revenge. #TheWalkingDead

— Susan Graham (@sloanepete310) April 16, 2018

Wait, what? Why is he saving Negan?!!!! Wth?!!!! #TheWalkingDead

— Lecia – Gaye Taylor (@Leciagaye) April 16, 2018

Maggie is never going to forgive Rick for this shit. Can’t say I blame her. #TheWalkingDead #TWD

— Troublemaker (@tzulu1914) April 16, 2018

Shit. I need a hug after that. Wow. #twd #thewalkingdead

— Mayci???????? (@Bl0nd3Bombshell) April 16, 2018

Things weren’t all hunky-dory, though. Even though Rick won the war, Negan survived, and the survivors chose peace over war. Not everyone on the show was happy with the decisions of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira). More conflicts are coming and, this time, they’re from within Rick and his group — with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) plotting, in some way, against their leader. Not everyone was into it.

No!!! Don’t make Maggie into the Governor!!! #Wrath #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead

— Stefany M (@stefany_gleek) April 16, 2018

maggie and daryl the new power…not couple but y’know #TWD #TheWalkingDead

— Destiny (@fightmenegan) April 16, 2018

So, I guess so long to this bromance? #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/3mmC5lfLQU

— Dave The Rave (@moonman9419) April 16, 2018

Leaked footage from @TheWalkingDead season 9! #SurvivalSunday #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/kYE59Bh0eF

— Dakota J. Hill (@BigApe93) April 16, 2018

Raise your hand if you feel personally betrayed by the @WalkingDead_AMC finale #TWDFinale #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/2bH8NhojYM

— Blair S (@oryomai) April 16, 2018

The season wrapped with one last heart-wrencher: a callback to the death of Carl (Chandler Riggs). Rick finally came around to what his son was trying to tell him about peace.

RICK WROTE A RESPONSE LETTER #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/8TKomwGD6R

— Daryl Dixon (@BAMFDarylDixon_) April 16, 2018

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan Says His ‘Rampage’ Performance Might Remind You of Negan

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If Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s “Rampage” character reminds you of his big baddie Negan on “The Walking Dead,” well, it’s because he played it that way.

“When I was watching the movie the other night, I saw a couple body movements that look kind of familiar, a little lean here and there,” Morgan said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I was like, ‘Oh man, there could have been a little slop over there between Negan and Russell.’”

The biggest difference between their characters: Morgan’s “Rampage” character Russell isn’t the bad guy. In fact, Negan is plenty of bad guy for Morgan right now.

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“I think now as soon as I walk onto the screen, people are like, ‘Uh, oh, he’s going to be the baddie,’” the 51-year-old actor said. “I don’t know that I would want to be a villain right now in anything other than what I’m doing.”

“I worry that with ‘The Walking Dead,’ people will only know me as Negan because it’s such a pop culture phenomenon of a show and character,” Morgan continued. “People have forgotten about all my other work as soon as I became Negan and they seem genuinely surprised that I don’t carry Lucille around and torture people in real life. So yeah, let me do something different.”

(Don’t worry, Jeff — longtime fans will always remember you as the romantic AF Denny from “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Boss Teases Next Season: It Will Have a ‘Very Different Vibe’

Morgan called his supporting role in “Rampage” a “dream gig.”

“For me to be able to come in with zero pressure and just have some fun and kind of chew up a little scenery, that’s a great time for me,” he said. “It really is a dream gig, just come in and have fun. That’s what moviemaking should be. I don’t know, I think this might be my deal. I like doing monster movies. I don’t need to win an Oscar. I like having fun.”

“Rampage” is now in theaters, and “The Walking Dead” Season 8 finale is Sunday, April 15 on AMC.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Recap

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A draft of this story published prematurely. We apologize.
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‘The Walking Dead’: The Situation with Tara Is Probably Not What It Seems

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(Note: This post contains spoilers for the March 25 episode of “The Walking Dead.”)

The Hilltop might have repelled the attack by the Saviors, but Negan’s crew still devastated the community with a sneaky tactic: The people they wounded later turned into Walkers, attacking their own.

The attack was a payoff to a plan Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) created two episodes ago. The Saviors are low on bullets — Negan has Eugene (Josh McDermitt) making more at his own outpost, but progress is slow — so for their attack on the Hilltop, he instructed his people to bring blades and bows, which the Saviors covered in zombie blood. Negan’s idea was to create terror in the Hilltop by deliberately wounding and infecting people there, but leaving them alive to turn later. Negan thought the terror attack might cause Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohen) and the rest of their people to abandon the war with the Saviors, which would ultimately save lives in the long run.

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Simon (Steven Ogg), Negan’s lieutenant, didn’t believe in that plan, though. With Negan missing, he changed the goal of the attack to one of annihilating the Hilltop. The Saviors failed to do that, but they did manage to injure some people with their Walker-blooded weapons.

The cliffhanger of the episode is the fate of Tara (Alanna Masterson). She was injured by a Savior weapon during the attack, too, and since everyone else who was hurt turned, everyone expects it’s only a matter of time until Tara goes — including Tara herself, who appears to accept her fate. But are Tara’s days numbered thanks to a walker blood infection?

We don’t know for sure, but based on something that happened to Rick in the “All Out War” story in the comics makes us think she’ll survive this. In fact, we wrote about this back when Negan made his gross plan a couple weeks back.

Also Read: Here’s What ‘The Walking Dead’ Seems to Be Doing to Justify Keeping Negan Alive (Commentary)

In the comic, the Savior attack on the Hilltop goes pretty much as it does on the show, though some names are different. the big differences are that Negan led the attack in the book, instead of Simon, and that Dwight shot Rick with his crossbow instead of Tara.

The moment is big for Dwight in the comics because his crossbow bolts are clean, not coated with the zombie blood — and that’s important because not only does Rick survive getting shot but it also blows Dwight’s cover when Negan, who saw Dwight shoot Rick, finds out Rick is still alive. It also, of course, confirms Dwight’s status as a double agent inside the Saviors.

The scenario in the show is very similar — Dwight was running around the Hilltop with Simon during the battle, and Tara is the only character he shot. The rest of the zombie blood idea goes as planned, of course, with a bunch of other Hilltop residents turning and eating a bunch of other Hilltop residents during the night. Tara is still okay as of the next morning, though it’s clear that everybody thinks she’s on the way out.

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But we don’t think that’s doing to happen, since the parallels to the comic story are so clear. If it plays out the same way on the show, then Tara will have even more proof that Dwight really is on their side.

Tara and Daryl are also wildcards in this scenario, because if they think Tara is infected even though she isn’t, then it’s likely to affect their decisions. Daryl especially still hates Dwight and thinks he’s a traitor, and he’s been known to act rashly before. So we’ll see, but for now it feels like a safe bet that Tara isn’t about to die — at least not from a tainted crossbow bolt.

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(Note: This post contains spoilers through the March 18 episode of “The Walking Dead,” as well as clues from the comics.)

“The Walking Dead” has been dealing with Negan for almost two full seasons now, spending most of that time positioning the leader of the Saviors as the ultimate Big Bad and foil for the show’s main protagonist, Rick Grimes. Lately, though, things are changing for Negan, and we’re seeing the groundwork being set for the way that Negan might make it through the finale of Season 8 to continue to be a character into the future of the show.

First, a bit of a spoiler: In the comics on which “The Walking Dead” is based, the war between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) ends, but it doesn’t result in Negan’s death. Instead, the leader survives the war and a peace is reached, but Rick and his group keep a jailed Negan in the basement of one of the houses of Alexandria. Eventually, Rick frees Negan after he helps Alexandria deal with some tight spots, and he tries to buy his way into the community during another war with another faction.

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It’s not clear if the show will follow the same events as the comics — this season has brought major changes to the story in the adaptation, like Carl’s death, and pretty much everything that happened this past week was original to the show. But it does seem as though “The Walking Dead” is building the foundations for a way in which Negan and Rick might be able to forgive each other in a way that didn’t really happen in the comics. So keeping Negan alive may work a bit better and be more satisfying than it was in the book.

In Episode 12 of Season 8, “The Key,” we get a sense of where “The Walking Dead” is intending to take Negan, the Saviors, and Rick in this telling of the story. It all started with Carl’s death. Carl was bitten by a walker in the mid-season finale of Season 8, and died during the show’s mid-season premiere. Before he went, though, he tried to impart some serious wisdom on Rick, his group, and even Negan. Carl believed that the only way forward was peace between the factions, and that once war was over, everyone would have to live together.

Carl wrote letters to several people before he died trying to convince them to stop fighting each other, and one of those people was Negan. Rick has taken Carl’s death pretty hard, but his response has been to double down on trying to get his revenge on the leader of the Saviors. Negan, on the other hand, seems to be softening in the wake of Carl’s death. He respected Rick’s son quite a bit, and the message Carl tried to give him, that Negan has fallen from his original goal of actually trying to save people, seems to be affecting him.

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We’ve been seeing Negan having some reflective moments in the episodes since Carl’s death, but none has been so poignant as the one in “The Key.” As Rick calls to Negan in the darkness of a basement, we see that Negan is really listening to what Rick has to say — that he can’t save anyone, because he’s become such a tyrant. It’s not Rick’s words that are getting to Negan, though; it’s Carl’s. They’ve sunk in with Negan much more than they have with Rick. That’s why, instead of attacking and destroying the Hilltop, Negan suggested a relatively more merciful measure: Attacking with walker-blooded weapons in hopes of turning a few people, scaring the Hilltop community, and leaving everyone else alive but fearful of the Saviors.

Though Negan’s plan is still pretty horrific, it’s not nearly as bad as rolling into the Hilltop and massacring everyone. It also doesn’t sit well with Negan’s top lieutenant, Simon (Steven Ogg), who thinks all these negotiations and attempts at scare tactics are more trouble than they’re worth. After the mid-season premiere, Simon went into a rage and, against orders, wiped out the Scavengers, the community that lived in the garbage dump settlement and were led by the woman called Jadis (Pollyanna MacIntosh). When Negan goes missing in Episode 12, Simon starts campaigning to do the same thing to the Hilltop.

The end of the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” finds Negan in the hands of Jadis, and it seems pretty obvious that a few things are about to come to light. Negan’s going to find out that Simon’s not just a loose cannon, but obviously positioning himself to take over the Saviors, and Jadis is going to find out that Negan wasn’t the one who had all her people killed. That gives Jadis a common enemy with Negan, and eventually, it’ll give Rick a means of ending the war.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Fans React to Carl’s Death: ‘Rip My Heart Out AMC!’

Alexandria is basically gone, Oceanside is unwilling to help, and the Kingdom’s leader is struggling with believing in himself. Rick and his crew are at a marked disadvantage if the Saviors come at them with their full force. It’s the reason Rick was willing to try to once again parlay with the Scavengers, even though they’d betrayed him twice before. Rick still needs more fighters if he’s going to defeat the Saviors. There’s one person left who can give them to him: Negan.

With Negan out of the picture for the Saviors for a while starting at the end of Episode 12, Simon is already stepping in and taking charge. That’ll likely create two factions within the Saviors: The band that likes Simon and his new, even more ruthless way of doing things, and the people who are still loyal to their original leader. And that’ll mean that if Rick chooses to work with Negan rather than continue to fight him, Negan will be able to divide the Saviors. It’s a scenario that gives Rick a clear path to try to become the person Carl wanted him to be, and justifies Rick coming to grips with, and moving past, Negan’s past transgressions.

As Season 8 moves forward, it seems more and more clear that Simon is becoming the villain that needs to be brought down, in direct contrast to the “All Out War” story in the comics in which Negan was the Big Bad until the end. On the show, on the other hand, we’re seeing a version of Negan that is remembering the ends he was trying to achieve through his awful means. For all that Negan has done, he still uses killing to try to let other people live, which he counts as a net good — he’s still really freaking evil, sure, but apparently not quite as evil as Simon.

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Combine Negan coming around to what Carl was trying to tell him, being betrayed by his top lieutenant, and realizing he can’t win the war with Rick, and you have a recipe for a situation in which Negan really can survive the war in a way that feels satisfying from a character development sense, rather than just a bit of plot trickery to allow the people creating “The Walking Dead” to keep a charismatic character from winding up undead. Negan might not be Rick’s best friend by the end of Season 8, but it seems the show might be angling to find a way to truly justify keeping him around a while longer.

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The Walking Dead would like to sell you some adult diapers

Read on: The A.V. Club.

The Walking Dead’s latest stop-gap, Negan, is basically a Rob Zombie character dialed down for cable TV—he huffs and he puffs and he barks some of the most cringeworthy dialogue on television in a Yosemite Sam accent. This latest episode, for example, found the bad man asking a character if they had their “shittin’…

Read more…

Zombie Apocalypse? ‘The Walking Dead’ Premiere Sinks 35 Percent in Viewers From Last Year

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“The Walking Dead” returned Sunday for Season 8, stalking 11.4 million total viewers that night. Incredibly, for this show, that’s not great — as a matter of fact, it’s down 35 percent year over year.

The zombie drama’s 2016 season premiere, which had something of a “Who Shot J.R.”-esque cliffhanger, hauled in a whopping 17.5 million total viewers on Night 1, which was up 16 percent from 2015’s comparable opening episode. The Season 7 start had revealed Negan’s offscreen victim, a major character death that drew extra eyeballs to AMC’s “live” presentation.

That year-ago payoff episode was pretty much in line with the Season 5 premiere — clearly, this ain’t ’15 or ’16.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Teaser: Negan Plans to ‘Win It All’ (Video)

Among viewers 18-49 — the favorite age range for most advertisers — 2016’s Episode 701 nabbed an 8.4 rating, per Nielsen’s Live + Same Day metric. Episode 801 had a 5.0, which is down a frightening 40 percent. Even so, “The Walking Dead” is still TV’s No. 1 entertainment show of the season.

It’s worth pointing out that versus last year’s midseason premiere, Sunday’s hour rose 5 percent among total viewers. And this past weekend’s return also out-drew the back-half of Season 7 in terms of average night-of viewership. So there’s that.

AMC does not share L+SD measurements; the cable channel chooses to focus on Nielsen numbers that include three days worth of delayed viewing, which will be out on Friday. Those should close the gap a bit versus last year.

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‘Walking Dead’: All 40 Main Characters in Rick’s Group, Ranked (Photos)

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“The Walking Dead” is an unkillable franchise sustained as much by hatewatchers as it is by loyal fans. Over the course of seven seasons, characters have dropped in and out as Rick and his team have slashed their way through the walker hordes. So which ones have stood out and which ones make us want to watch whatever’s on HBO instead? Here are the members of Rick’s group that appeared in at least six episodes, ranked from worst to best.

40. Judith
Never contributes to the group! WTF, Judith.

39. Lizzie and Mika
There was a long stretch of “The Walking Dead” where you just could tell the writers were frustrated at being saddled with these two and were trying to figure out a way to write them off. Having Lizzie murder Mika because she can’t tell the difference between walkers and people, and then having Carol kill Lizzie was probably the most “Walking Dead” thing that ever happened. That’s not a testament to them as characters, though.

38. Shane
Shane’s demise was one of the most important deaths in the entire series, but now that Jon Bernthal has moved on to world of Marvel, we can’t help but imagine how The Punisher would do in “The Walking Dead.” We’re guessing he’d become the walkers’ natural predator.

37. Olivia
Exactly bland enough to get killed off abruptly without it really mattering to anyone watching.

36. Carl
Rick’s son has all of his old man’s corruption narrative but with twice the heartbreak (and half the eyeballs). There’s a reason he’s the only one who doesn’t flinch at the prospect of Negan braining someone to death with ol’ Barbie. He’s become numbed to the sight of people dying around him constantly, much like a good chunk of this show’s audience.

35. Lori
Oh, Lori. You tried so hard to cling to pre-apocalypse life. Unfortunately, you just became an example of how life among walkers is often just a daily struggle to not die. And also how it can make you pretty insufferable to be around. Not that she’s unique in that regard!

34. Spencer
Earned a spot on this list by virtue of having somehow lived long enough to qualify despite having done nothing of note aside from hooking up with Rosita.

33. Beth
She went from having barely any lines in season 2 to getting added to the main credits and having her own major arc in season 5. Of course, getting upgraded from extra to major character on “The Walking Dead” is often the TV equivalent of getting fattened for slaughter. And, uh, yeah.

 

‘The Walking Dead’: The Most Shocking and Disturbing Deaths So Far (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

‘The Walking Dead’: 18 Most Shocking Deaths So Far (Photos)

“The Walking Dead” has never been shy about featuring plenty of death, but some characters’ demises hit harder than others. Look back on some of the most gut-wrenching kills from the hit AMC series

When Andrea’s sister Amy ( Emma Bell) died in season 1, it proved that no one was safe.The death of Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) in season 1 showed the characters how to treat a bitten person for the first time.

Sophia (Madison Lintz) was beloved by all, but Rick did not hesitate when it came time to pull the trigger when she became a walker.

Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) was the moral compass of the group, but died in the midst of the discussion around executing their prisoner, Randall.

Shane (Jon Bernthal) was ready to kill Rick, but Rick acted first, proving himself to be a fearless leader.T-Dog (IronE Singleton) gave his life to save Carol from walkers when the group tried to take the prison.

Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) died during childbirth, prompting Carl to shoot her in the head to prevent her reanimation.

Merle (Michael Rooker) proved he was a good man by giving his life in an attempt to stop The Governor. Andrea (Laurie Holden) failed to see The Governor for what he was and paid the ultimate price.

“The Walking Dead” Season 7 premiered Oct. 23

 

Jeffrey Dean Morgan On ‘The Walking Dead’ T-Shirt Controversy: ‘People Are Stupid’

Read on: Variety.

On Wednesday, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan tweeted in response after a “The Walking Dead” t-shirt was pulled from stores after customer complaints. The offending shirts feature a quote from his character Negan and a drawing of his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille. The quote read, “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” — the words Negan utters while selecting… Read more »

‘Walking Dead’ Shirt Pulled From Stores After Racism Complaint

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“The Walking Dead” has once again caused an uproar, and this time it’s not over onscreen gore or a shocking character death.

A “Walking Dead” T-shirt has been removed for sale by a British clothing retailer, after a complaint that the shirt was “racist” and “fantastically offensive.”

The shirt in question bore the image of a baseball bat and the message “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe” — a reference to a scene from the AMC zombie drama in which Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is deciding who in the protagonist group to kill.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: All 39 Main Characters in Rick’s Group, Ranked (Photos)

In the scene, Negan continues the phrase with, “Catch a tiger by his toe” — though, historically in the U.K. the rhyme has employed the N-word rather than the word “tiger.”

The historical use caused shopper Ian Lucraft to complain after spotting the shirt at a branch of the U.K.’s Primark retail chain.

“We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text,” Lucraft told the Warwick Courier. “It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.”

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’: 3 Fan Theories on New Mystery Group

Lucraft, who said he saw the shirt while visiting Primark’s branch in Sheffield, England, with his wife, added, “It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”

After Lucraft returned home, he said, he fired off a letter to Primark chief executive Paul Marchant, stating, “Mr Lucraft send a stinging letter, headed “Shocking Racist t-shirt in Primark” to the firm’s Chief Executive Paul Marchant at his offices in London. He wrote: “I assume that with some past incidents that I see have happened with Primark goods, you are anxious to prevent further bad publicity, and do not want to offend other shoppers.”

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Fans Lose It Over ‘Amazing’ Walker Herd Scene

In a statement to TheWrap, a Primark spokesperson offered an apology for the shirt, saying that any offense that the shirt caused was “wholly unintentional.”

“The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, ‘The Walking Dead,’ and the quote and image are taken directly from the show,” the spokesperson said. “Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this. Primark has pulled the product from sale.”

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(Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead”)

In the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead,” Rick and Aaron risk their lives to grab a cache of supplies stored on a houseboat, all while a mystery figure in boots watches from the opposite shore.

The same figure pops up again at the end of the episode in a post-credits scene, spying on Alexandria through high-powered binoculars. So who is it? Looks like we won’t find out until the midseason premiere, but there are definitely some theories floating around already.

Heath

Heath has not been seen since he and Tara got separated on the bridge in the episode “Swear.” We know he survived that encounter with walkers and made it back to the RV, but where he went after that is anyone’s guess. Could he have run into another group on the road, who convinced him to spy on his former compatriots?

Dwight

Dwight may be one of Negan’s top men, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy. Dwight has repeatedly shown signs of wanting to break free from Negan’s tyrannical rule, and teaming up with the residents of Alexandria would go a long way in achieving that goal.

Someone from Oceanside

Back in “Swear,” Tara runs across a community near the ocean populated almost entirely with women. While most of the community wants no contact with the outside world due to past run ins with the Saviors, one woman recognized the opportunity that working with Tara and Alexandria presented. She could have tracked Tara back to Alexandria and is checking on whether it is safe or not.

Carol

Carol left Alexandria after struggling with the all the lives she has taken since the zombie outbreak started. In the midseason finale, she reaffirmed her desire to be left alone in the new home she has established for herself. But it is hard to imagine that a mother and skilled warrior like herself could stay away from her surrogate family for too long.

Whisperers

Fans of the comics have been waiting for this group to enter the series for a while now. Without giving too much away, the Whisperers walk around covered in walker skin to disguise themselves and will hopefully become a major force in the show in future episodes.

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‘SNL’: Dave Chappelle Plays Negan from ‘The Walking Dead’ in ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Revival

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(WARNING: There are, oddly enough, spoilers for season 7 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” contained in this post.)

When Dave Chappelle walked out to introduce the next skit on “Saturday Night Live” in classic “Chappelle’s Show” style, the audience already knew it was in for a treat.

What they didn’t know was that the skit would be a parody of “The Walking Dead,” and that it would revive some of Chappelle’s most classic characters from a show gone far too long.

“All week long people have been asking me if I was going to do any characters from ‘Chappelle’s Show’ tonight,” Chappelle said. “At first I wasn’t going to, and then I saw that episode of ‘Walking Dead’ where they smashed this guy Glenn on the head and killed him. I know, it was devastating. I love that show and Glenn was like one of my favorite characters. so I was like crushed. So, in that spirit and with that in mind, I hope you enjoy this.”

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock Attend an Election Night Watch Party With White People

Ten years after the end of “Chapelle’s Show”, the “SNL” skit served as a nod to both “The Walking Dead” and Chappelle’s best jokes. Chappelle kicked off the skit dressed as Negan, ready to bash heads in from the now-infamous episode of “The Walking Dead” that saw Glenn and Abraham’s untimely end.

Loved seeing Tyrone Biggums and our favorite Chappelle’s Show characters back on TV. #ChappelleOnSNL pic.twitter.com/9rddGzdS1i

— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) November 13, 2016

But then, just as he was choosing a victim, Tyrone Biggums — best known as for the antics he pulled to fuel his never-ending crack addiction — along with several others like Lil’ Jon, Clayton Bigsby and Silky Johnson. After the line-up of characters introduced themselves and spouted some of their classic lines, Chappelle’s Negan ultimately chose Tyrone to pick off, and batted the poor guy’s head clear into the air.

But, fueled by his magical crack addiction, Tyrone was able to evade and “run” from Negan for a while, successfully figuring out a way to survive longer than good ol’ Glenn did.

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(Spoiler alert: Do not read this post if you’ve yet to watch the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead,” on which Negan’s victim is finally revealed. Hopefully this warning explains why we used a photo of just Conan O’Brien up top.)

Steven Yeun’s “Walking Dead” character Glenn was brutally murdered by Negan on the Season 7 premiere of AMC’s hit zombie apocalypse drama. Well, technically, the barbed-wire-wrapped-baseball-bat did the dirty dead on the Season 6 finale, though we just found out the gruesome victim’s identity this past Sunday.

Now that the man is no longer on cable TV’s biggest series, what is Yeun to do? After all, he played Glenn for all seven years of the show. This could become a very trying, tricky, and frustrating unemployment period for a lesser talent.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Fan Can’t Stop Crying After Brutal Season Premiere (Video)

“Actually, I’m OK,” Yeun assured the studio and at-home audience Thursday on TBS’ “Conan.” “I got a new job already.”

Unfortunately, it’s not as high-profile as his last one: Yeun is Conan O’Brien’s new stand-in for rehearsals. Let’s just hope the crew doesn’t set up any lighting or framing based on height during those dry runs.

The late-night talker rolled a montage on cue of Yeun-as-Conan, which makes hosting look like a pretty cake gig. As one might expect, the clip includes lots of guitar-playing, some hair-poofing, and even a bit of crying. You know, all the things O’Brien is wont to do.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Negan’s Victim Reveals Who He Told About Top Secret Death

The big payoff is at the end, however, when another now-former cast member joins Yeun as his distracted Andy Richter. We certainly won’t ruin that one, but fans will appreciate the cameo.

Watch the video above.

“TWD” airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. “Conan” runs weeknights at 11 p.m. on TBS.

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Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the premiere of Season 7 of “The Walking Dead.” Negan’s victims were finally revealed during the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead” on Sunday night. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) both found themselves on the receiving end of Lucille, Negan’s barb wire-wrapped bat…. Read more »

‘Walking Dead’ Premiere Director Calls Fans Threats to Quit Watching ‘A Knee-Jerk Reaction’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven’t watch the season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead”)

“Walking Dead” producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the Season 7 premiere, thinks fans’ threats to stop watching the show after the gruesome deaths of two beloved characters are a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“I would say that [their threat] means we have done something to affect these people in a way that they don’t necessarily know how to process,” he told TV Line. “Listen… I’ve been shocked at the turns of events on [‘Game of Thrones’]. But you know what? I still love it. And I’m still committed to seeing where that story goes. So I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction that people have, because they care about these characters.

He added, “That’s a tribute to every single actor on our show that has perished. It’s unfortunate that people want to take a negative spin on it… [and especially] if that’s really what’s going to happen [and they’ll stop watching], because the show still has a lot to offer!”

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Fan Can’t Stop Crying After Brutal Season Premiere (Video)

After the episode aired on Sunday, fans took to Twitter to express their horror about the brutal deaths of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) — and many even said they would quit watching.

I’ve officially quit watching the walking dead after today

— samantha (@samm_ferguson_) October 24, 2016

I quit the walking dead this is the most messed up show ever

— Matt (@mhcornell15) October 24, 2016

I’m seeing a lot of folks join me in the “I quit the Walking Dead” club after last night’s episode. Welcome. We have warmth and joy here.

— [disgusted noise] (@rhymeswithleia) October 24, 2016

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’s’ Greg Nicotero: Negan ‘Is Now 100 Percent in Control’

And yes, the hour-long episode was violent, admitted Nicotero, but that’s because the scene was graphic and disturbing in the book  and he “wanted to try and capture that.”

“It was important to launch us into this season by showing the extent of what Negan is capable of doing, because that drives so much of where the series is going from here on in,” added Nicotero. “Our hero, completely crushed… is more disturbing than the actual violence.”

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Season 7 Premiere Scores 17 Million Total Viewers

Nicotero also explained why he thought both Abraham and Glenn had to die, saying “We really needed to drive Rick and Negan’s story throughout the season, and we felt that one death would do the trick, but the second death — Glenn’s death — really propels us into a very different direction. [That second murder is] really about Negan laying down the law. So [it] has a lot to do with Rick’s future story, Maggie’s future story and certainly Daryl’s future story.”

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Many “Walking Dead” watchers were devastated from Sunday’s Season 7 premiere by the revelation of Negan’s victim. None, however, were quite as crushed as this one girl.

Apparent super-fan Ashley bawled into her zebra comforter while a very cruel friend of her sister videotaped all the trauma, which concluded with a staircase collapse. Clearly, the safari-lover had some skin in the game.

TheWrap won’t reveal who was murdered, just in case our readers haven’t watched yet. After all, we don’t want you ending up like poor Ashley over this post. (Someone tell her it’s just a ficticious TV show, OK?)

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Negan’s Victim Reveals Who He Told About Top Secret Death

For those still playing catch-up, however, we hope you’ve stayed off social media. Also, you might be in the minority, as 17 million total viewers tuned in to Episode 701, per Nielsen.

Finally, someone teach YouTube user ayeharmony about landscape mode. Watch her (vertical) video above.

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