The Walking Dead executive producer Scott M. Gimple let it slip that an important villain from the comic books is very likely to appear in the series when he appeared Sunday on the special AMC'sThe Walking Dead summer preview of Talking Dead, the drama's companion talk show that normally airs after each episode.
The Chris Hardwick-hosted special featured Gimple and “superfan” Aisha Tyler (Archer), set interviews with some of the cast and crew by Hardwick, and a short sneak peek of season five. While the hour held few real surprises, with mostly Taylor and Hardwick discussing last season and making guesses about what's coming up, along with the tight-lipped Gimple dodging questions, the executive producer did chat about a recent rumor regarding a popular villian from the comics, Negan.
Gimple said his favorite rumor was “the recent one that John Hamm was going to play Negan, who is a character coming up.”
So Negan is coming up? “Well, coming up eventually,” he admitted. “We're doing the comic.”
Hardwick then brought up the obvious problem of doing a televised version of Negan, mainly the character's fondness for the “f” word. To which Gimple joked, “I think if people could hit their cable operators and make AMC a pay network just in time.”
Regarding Negan, comic co-creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman said he's discussed casting the character with Gimple, and Kirkman told MTV News that it was a “99 percent lock” that he's going to be in the show eventually.
While Negan may not pop up for a while, and when he does eventually he will not likely be played by Mad Men's Hamm, Gimple and the cast and crew all pretty much admitted that we'll learn a whole lot more about Terminus very quickly when the show returns. Season four left us with a cliffhanger with most of the characters trapped in an old train car by the residents of Terminus.
Gimple promises season five will start off “very, very, very, very intense, and then there's a left-hand turn. And then it gets very, very intense, and then there's a left-hand turn.”
The special also previewed the first sneak peek of season five, showing Carol, Tyreese and baby Judith in the woods trying to dodge an approaching herd of Walkers.
Other notable bits about season five from the Talking Dead special:
- When the series returns, “basically it's do or die,” said Lauren Cohan (aka Maggie). “The group has to be so resourceful and so brutal to get out of this situation. You get to see members of the group that didn't even know they were badass get to be badass.”
- Costume Designer Eulyn Womble calls the Terminus residents “Termites,” and Gimple instructed her to dress Denise Crosby's Mary, the Termite who offered the group a suspicious plate of food, like Luke Skywalker's aunt in Star Wars. She also admitted that Norman Reedus (aka Daryl) doesn't like anyone wearing his clothes, which has been a bit of a problem since one of the Termites is wearing his poncho.
- Steven Yeun (aka Glenn) discussed Glenn's relationship with Maggie and admitted, “Terminus is a little wonky” before accepting a hug from Hardwick and giving the camera a thumbs-up.
- “If you put a bunch of psychopaths in one [train] car, inevitably something terrible is going to happen,” said Alanna Masterson (aka Tara). "So I don't think they realize how crazy each one of us is, and then together it's just going to be like a giant atomic bomb ... don't do it."
- Regarding Terminus leader Garth, “Personally I don't know that I would call him a natural-born leader. He's maybe somebody who's grown into that role a little bit,” said Andrew J. West (aka Gareth). And on a scale of Rick to Governor, where does Garth stand as a leader? “I would say he definitely falls way more toward the Rick end of the spectrum. The way that they envisioned this character is that he was a mirror image of Rick or even Glenn, you know, if they had a different history. A reasonable, normal guy just figuring out a way to survive. … You're going to meet a real person. He's not a one-dimensional character. You're going to get another perspective from Garth on what the world is now. That is one of my favorite things about this character, is that you get this whole different window into what this world is, what it can be, what it has become.”
- Co-executive producer Denise Huth said, “This year was unique in that we left our characters in a cliffhanger, and we've never done that before.” As for whether Terminus is the biggest threat the characters have faced so far ... “I think it is ... It's going to be a wild ride.”
- Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd talked about her favorite rumor, mainly that season five would have an entirely new cast.
- Gimple avoided admitting that the Termites are cannibals, talked about why there are no naked Walkers, said he thought Eugene probably is the weakest survivor and admitted he thought he might have killed the crew with some BBQ he brought in that made him sick.
- And Gimple said they have all 16 episodes of the season planned out, so they know how the season will end. “More or less ... I mean, even when started we had them relatively figured out. We knew our end point, we knew our ending, and we knew the things that we were going to hit. And now we know a lot more about them. But we're in the writing process.”
Season five of The Walking Dead returns to AMC this October. Until then, you can check out Inside The Walking Dead, about the making of the show, which airs tonight at 10 p.m., and Inside The Walking Dead: Walker University, which airs on Tuesday, July 15, at 10 p.m.