Warning: This article contains an abundance of foul language
Jeffrey Dean Morgan's portrayal of The Walking Dead villain Negan is sure to be phenomenal. As Season 6 continues, fans are aching to see the infamous character brought to life.
Fans of the comics are well aware of Negan and what he brings to the playing field, including his barbed wire-wrapped bat Lucille, a gang of self-proclaimed prophets known as the Saviors, and of course, his dark sense of humor and over-use of the word 'f*ck.'
Since his appearance in the comics, fans have wondered what the creators of the show were planning on doing due to the fact that Negan's dialogue would be frowned upon by the governing bodies of television.
It appears as though fans do not have too much to worry about, as the creators seem to have it all worked out. Comic writer Robert Kirkman had this to say:
“I would say that there are certain words that try as I might, we are not allowed to say on AMC, and those are certain words that Negan likes to say. So those words are going to be filmed, and people are going to be able to get those words, but there are definitely some broadcast limitations that we’re going to have to deal with." Said Robert Kirkman, writer and creator of 'The Walking Dead'. "We’re sorting that out now, but I will say that, worst-case scenario, the extras will be extra-special on Blu-ray. I mean, we’re trying to explore some other more interesting options, but that’s the bare minimum of what we’ll be doing.”
Showrunner Scott Gimple has also promised a "full cctane" Negan, though it may not be through a televised format.
“I’m still finishing up Season 6, so there are still aspects of these questions that I’m figuring out. But I will say that my goal is for, at the very least, in some way — might not be all the time, and it might not even be directly through your TV box — that people will be able to get full-octane Negan. I’m still playing around with it, but I will say I do have the material two ways right now. I’ll see what I can do with it. One way or another I want people to see full-octane Negan. Will I be able to shoot every scene like that? Probably not, but to tell you the truth, I think we will get as close to the version of full-octane Negan as we can through some version of the show or another.”
There are other characters who have a less than TV-friendly dialogue in the comics. Abraham Ford is well known for being a fowl-mouthed badass in the comics.
While his dialogue may not be as bad as Negan's, there was still work to be done with him on the show, and the writers have done a good job bringing that character to the small screen without repercussions. Abraham still carries himself as the badass he is in the comics, and still gets to use his trademark language and comical catchphrases.
Greg Nicotero, executive producer and VFX professional had something else to say on the subject of Negan's use of language.
“That would be a very good guess. We’ve talked about that. Even back when Michael Cudlitz was cast as Abraham we were like, ‘Damn, how are we going to deal with Abraham’s dialogue?’ And I think Gimple went, ‘Yeah, Abraham’s dialogue is fine. It’s Negan that we’re going to have problems with because every other word of Negan’s is f—.’ There is a rhythm to it that even in some of the takes that we did. What I affectionately call the ‘f— takes’ have a completely different rhythm to them and a completely different feel. So while editing it, I was very careful to make sure that I preserved a lot of the performance without getting myself into trouble with the profanity.”
So, while fans may not be able to see the "full-octane" Negan when he first appears on their TV screens, we will eventually be able to see him bust out in other ways. Perhaps they will surprise us and throw the word "fuck" into the show at least one time and accept the fine (we all know they could probably afford to pay the fine once). Either way, Negan will be brought to life and will be used to his fullest potential.