WARNING: Possible spoilers for The Walking Dead TV and comic series ahead.
Get ready, Walking Dead fans, because this is quite possibly the moment we've been waiting for ever since The Walking Dead first hit screens! Rumors are swirling online that AMC has cast Deadwood actor Garret Dillahunt to play ultimate villain, Negan.
Dillahunt will be recognizable to fans for his roles in TV series such as Deadwood, Raising Hope, and Justified. You may also have seen him in 12 Years a Slave, Looper, and No Country for Old Men.
While AMC has not yet officially announced that Dillahunt will take on the role, fans have been in furious speculation mode after the actor has dropped a whole bunch of social media posts possibly alluding to being cast. The first hint came when the actor posted a photo of the Walking Dead compendium when Negan makes his first appearance:
To which the official Walking Dead comic book account replied:
More alarm bells rang when a fan asked him if a prop of Negan's favored weapon, Lucille (a wire covered baseball bat) had any significance, and he replied:
Other Twitter-based hints are that Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple and actress Alanna Masterson (Tara) both started following Dillahunt on Twitter, and he also posted the following picture on Instagram of him on set of an undisclosed project, and included the rather interesting caption:
Closer. Bloody crew cut in the woods. Who do I look like? #makemycase #lobbying #demandit
You gotta admit, he looks very Negan-esque in this snap.
News of Dillahunt being cast as Negan would be absolutely perfect timing considering that The Walking Dead is due to start filming the Season 6 finale on Monday, the episode that many believe Negan will make his first appearance in. Negan's arrival has been long awaited, but it was only a few weeks ago that fans had some sort of confirmation that he would be joining the cast when a casting call for a character with Negan-like characteristics was posted on The Spoiling Dead Fans Facebook group:
It should be noted that despite the casting call being for a character named 'Orin' this shouldn't be read into too much, as it's a common trick by the Walking Dead crew to use codenames when casting comic book characters. However, aside from the name, everything else lines up perfectly with Negan, especially the episode number that the character would be appearing in the show -- the Season 6 finale. And if the rumors are true, then Glenn (or could it be Daryl?) better keep their heads down, because Big Bad Negan might be playing eeny meeny miny mo, very soon.