WARNING: Obviously there are spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Season 6 and also the comic series. Proceed with caution!
TVLine has reported that 24 and Nikita star Xander Berkeley will be joining the cast of The Walking Dead in Season 6.
Readers will be familiar with Berkeley from his roles in films such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Gattaca, or more recently from Nikita, Being Human, Salem and 24. His role Season 6 of The Walking Dead is reported to be recurring, with the potential to become a series regular in Season 7. His character will debut during the second half of Season 6.
However, while those details are amazing, the big question on everyones lips is who exactly Berkeley will be playing in the show. Earlier this week EW reported that someone who looked suspiciously like the comic book character Paul 'Jesus' Monroe had been spotted on set, however it was not Berkeley. So who will this newcomer be playing? According to TVLine his character will be narcissistic, have a huge ego and be very interested in self-preservation. Sound like any comic book characters you know? Check out the two characters who I think are front runners:
Yes, we've been waiting for the big bad of The Walking Dead comic series for years now, so could this be the casting we've wanted?
There's absolutely no denying that Negan encompasses all three of the character traits that Berkeley's character will apparently have (narcissism, huge ego and self-preservation), and it makes sense that his character would be poised to become a series regular in seasons following Season 6. His character's debut in the second half of Season 6 may just work out with the timing of when Negan could be expected to enter the show as well.
However, on the flip side, TVLine's source apparently confirmed that Berkeley will not be Negan. While normally I would be willing to accept this as truth, The Walking Dead has been sneaky in the past with castings, and also using fake names for characters prior to their introduction on the show. So despite what sources say, there's always a chance.
While I love the idea that we could have finally found our Negan, I tend to think that the character of Gregory is more likely to be the one Berkeley will play, especially given the sightings on the character Jesus on set.
Gregory is the leader of the Hilltop Colony, the community of people that Jesus belongs to, similar to how Rick and the gang live in Alexandria. In the comic series he is well-known for being a person who is cowardly and very much out to save himself. Without spoiling much, his role in the comic series is interesting, especially when the character of Negan is introduced.
Berkeley also pretty much fits the age range of Gregory (Gregory is in his early-mid 50s, and Berkeley is 59), and looks quite similar to the comic character as well. While he could potentially make a good Negan, I think that physically he seems better suited to play Gregory, and with this casting announcement coinciding with sightings of Jesus, it definitely seems more than likely that Xander Berkeley is our Gregory.
The Walking Dead Season 6 will premiere on October 11th over on AMC.
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