One of our fans’ most common conversations (it pops up on almost every prediction post) is about who the f*#king f*#k is going to play Negan in AMC’s The Walking Dead. In case you don’t know, the character Negan is a bad guy. A very, very bad guy. But not without his own charms—namely an interesting vocabulary that has fans wondering just how AMC is going to deal with him. Now, whether producers have even approached anyone about playing Negan (Robert Kirkman and David Alpert certainly aren’t telling us) remains to be seen. We’ve heard the same rumors you have. In advance of any sort of official—or even unofficial—word we thought it would be fun to run down some of our favorite casting choices you guys have floated. Read ’em and then VOTE! In no particular order they are:
I remember seeing Kevin Durand for the first time in Mystery, Alaska as a hockey player. Seemed like a cool guy. In fact, the entire first half of his career it seems like he was playing good guys but for the last half of his career it’s been pretty much bad guy after bad guy. And not just like, bad guys, but scum bags. So maybe he’s perfect. He’s super tall, too. I never thought of Negan as being a giant guy but once some fan said how he should be this huge guy I kind of thought that might be a really cool visual dynamic.
Would he do it: Probably. He’s currently on FX’s The Strain. Not sure how long his character will be on that show but he’s obviously willing to do longer stints on TV.
Another very popular choice for hypothetical casting. I think he’s a bit on the short side (an inch shorter than Andy Lincoln) but he has the seething range and cutting sarcasm to carry the mantle of Negan. Basically, his attitude and face are pure Negan perfection. But would that translate on screen when he needs to be super intimidating (probably)? And he might have to dye his hair black.
Would he do it: Probably. He’s no stranger to playing misanthropes and he has a long list of TV roles. He played a really, really, really nasty dude on Sons of Anarchy. So that’s a plus!
Hey did you know that Mad Men’s ending?! And wouldn’t it be great if Jon Hamm was cast on another AMC show?! Awesome actor. Funny guy. Probably looks awesome with his hair greased back. And Robert likes him for Negan, too!
Would he do it: Maybe! I would’ve put this down as “unlikely” and then MTV just straight up asked him and he seemed pretty willing. So maybe he’d put his giant movie career on hold just a bit longer to play the man with the bat.
The jawline. The build. The glare. Chris Meloni certainly looks the part. He also plays hard asses all the time but also has some genuinely great comic chops, which I think the actor playing Negan will need.
Would he do it: Probably. Meloni seems to be game for a wide range of roles, and he’s already taken on a stint on HBO’s True Blood, another genre show with shorter seasons.
He’s got the stature and the look for it, that’s for sure. He’s definitely at the top of the most-mentioned names when Negan casting comes up, but I’m not convinced. Have you guys seen him in a non-comedic role? I don’t think I have. His voice is so iconic as a satirical tough-guy that I’m not sure he can pull off the menace you need for Negan. I’d be worried that his epic f-bomb rants would sound a little too comedic instead of insane and awesome.
Would he do it: Probably. He’s a TV vet and it would definitely be a really cool challenge for him if he wants to get more dramatic.
He may be more of a producer/writer/director but Eli Roth is no stranger to being in front of the camera. And he firmly cemented in himself in the pantheon of bat-wielding murderers with a pretty great turn in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
Would he do it: Unlikley. Eli Roth seems like an insanely busy guy and he has creative control over a lot of his projects. I’m not sure he’d be willing to give up that control to take on a long-running role as an actor.
We HAVE to have a Wire actor in here, and while we’d love to include Dominic West (not a bad choice actually) we want to switch things up a bit. Why not Idris Elba? The dude is definitely intimidating and a total badass. Good actor. Big name.
Would he do it: Unlikely. His role as the titular DCI on the awesome BBC “Luther” notwithstanding, I think Idris has his eyes firmly on the movie star track. One thing is sure though: if AMC wants him, they better grab him before he gets cast as James Bond. And if you haven’t watched “Luther” yet, do yourself a favor. It’s on Netflix.
You’ve definitely seen Ray Stevenson in something. Whether it’s Thor or Divergent or GI Joe, he’s been in a lot of stuff, usually not as a starring role. He was the Punisher though! I’m not sure anyone actually saw Punisher: War Zone though so maybe the less the said, the better. All things considered though, he definitely looks like a guy that might beat your head in with a baseball bat wrapped in barbwire.
Would he do it: Probably. He’s usually a movie guy, but he has done stints on “Dexter” and “Crossing Lines.” But could he do it? He’s going to be in “Black Sails” as Blackbeard next year which could definitely interfere with an ability to be on TWD.
Admittedly, my Chris Noth exposure is limited. He’s the elder statesman of our list but I’m not sure Negan’s age is all that important. He’s got a good look and hair for it. What is up with his IMDb profile pic though?
Would he do it: Probably. I think he’s still on The Good Wife and that’s probably a pretty good gig. If he exits that show though, I think he absolutely would be up for it.
Hey why not? AMC gender-swapped the Douglas Monroe character (to Deanna). Could a gender-swap work for Negan? What kind of woman would be needed to embody that role and who could pull it off? A Michelle Rodriguez type? Or someone that can go from sweet and innocent to raving lunatic at the drop of a hat? What do you guys think?
It is time for you to vote!
SOUND OFF BELOW!!!
I voted Kevin Durand as who I’d like to see out of the ones listed here (my personal pick would be Billy Zane), however, I know that the character he plays in The Strain is a long standing one in the novels. He probably feels The Strain is a more stable job, given the rep of character kills on TWD.
I actually bailed on The Strain like halfway into the second book, so I wasn’t too sure about his timeline. We’re also not even sure when Negan shows up, but I’m guessing not soon, since we haven’t heard anything and they start shooting in a month. I actively dislike Kevin Durand, but I realized that’s only because I’ve seen him play assholes for the last like, 5+ years. I used to really like him. I also like his size for the role. That’s why he’s first. 😉 Also, Jon Hamm would be fucking amazeballs if he plays him really unhinged. I think he’s too famous for the role.
I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR HENRY F’N ROLLINS AGAIN.. HES 5’8 AND A WEAK ASS ACTOR.. IDRIS OR JON HAMM COULD DO IT.. HOW ABOUT LL COOL J OR QUEEN LATIFAH..OR JUST GET DWAYNE JOHNSON.
Remember queen latifah from set it off??.. Classic..
Idris Elba… interesting! But I’d rather they put a grey dreadlock wig on him & call him His Majesty!
A woman? Na… some story lines would get tossed or wouldn’t be believable with a woman… but Michelle Rodriguez would be AWESOME!!
OH YEAH! That would be amazing. But I always thought that George Clinton could be an amazing Ezekiel hehe unlikely though…
Henry!!!! Oh please baby Jesus, make it Henry!
been my choice for Negan for a long time #TeamRollinsForNegan
I went back to link that post where we did all those castings & found it, but all the images were removed. Guess they left with Disqus. :’-(
oh man, that was one sweet thread, cant believe they nicked the images oh well will have to start again here 🙂
Now see… you made me go & dig my file up:
& let’s not forget this casting done by a Wrecking Ball genious:
Henry rollins will kill the show!! He sucks
Another Rollins / negan comparison
hahahahahahahh, that beaker one is awesome , SOMEONE MAKE THAT HAPPEN!
We put Mark Strong on it, too:
Im sick of people saying rollins.. Hes a dry ass actor.. I would throw up if he showed up.
oh ,I like mark strong, good evil British Bastard!
They need to cast a Brit for Negan.
Oh… now I’d always been in the Jon Hamm camp, but now Mark Strong’s been thrown in to the mix… He would be just wonderful. So, I guess I’d be happy with either of them.
Just to go off on a tangent… can we get Adrian Lester as Ezekiel…? He would be perfect!
I went henry rollins but i didnt even consider christopher maloni! He would killlll it, im still rollins but shit thats a good suggestion, stabler dont take no shit
You should do one of these for Dwight and make Robert Knepper as one of the suggestions! I’d vote him for sure
Oh yeah! He would be great. Hell they’d have to watch he didn’t steal the show from Negan, he’s such a magnetizing actor.
Never thought of that! Pretty perfect.
I’ve started Prison Break a couple of months ago and one of the first things i thought when i saw T Bag was him with half of his face burned hahahah
Negan should be played by Adam Baldwin
I think Henry Rollins or Chris Meloni would be great as Negan. Both have the gritty look but both can also exude the comic attitude needed for the part to be believable.
I dunno… Durand, Hamm or Meloni… I think Meloni would be pretty cool, even though I’d be calling him ‘Negan Elliot’ in my head cause I always think Elliot Stabler when I see him XD Patrick Warburton, no way, I hear his voice and think Brock Sampson (who is also a nutty brutal killer, but still…) and I just couldn’t separate from that…
Since we’re talking Robert Pattinson and making Negan a woman… how about Kristen Stewart? LOLZ
He could only be a woman if he were played by the woman who plays Brienne in Game of Thrones! HA!
OH! Rory McCann…he plays The Hound in GOT! He would actually be really cool! He plays a badass, snarky warrior, he’s wicked tall… he would be great 😀
Seriously though, Brock Sampson is the best. GO TEAM VENTURE!
It’s too hard of a choice for any mortal man to decide! I would like to see AMC choose someone that’s not a big name and turn him into a mega star. Similar to what they’ve done with all of TWD actors.
It has to be Jon Hamm…Negan is hot..but in a really fucked up …I’m going to ruin your entire existence way…and really…think about it…when you see Jon Hamm act and then you see him in interviews…it’s like he can be charming and also completely devoid of any emotion possible…so yeah…he can TOTALLY be Negan!
Rob Riggle is Negan
Kevin Durand = classis, comic Negan
Idras Elba = could do a great TV version of Negan
really like those choices alot
Vinnie Jones as a British Negan, this way AMC can avoid dropping f-bombs by inserting wanker, tosspot and arse-bandit in its place!
You read it here first muddy-funsters!
Man thats smart
I too voted for Kevin Durand, although Danny Huston would be good.
MICHAEL MADSEN would dominate as Negan!
I forgot about Madsen! I thought of him in Seattle but forgot to write it down. THIS IS WHY YOU WRITE THINGS DOWN.
Bruce Campbell would be perfect!!!
Fucking ditto on that one. He’d be my number one option
Joaquin Phoenix would be great for the part! He is an amazing actor and can go into a twisted and dark place. Looks a bit like Negan also
Didn’t think of him… nice choice!
I keep coming back to this & the more I do, the more I like the idea!
JON HAMM or CHRIS MELONI would play Negan as Negan needs to be played, becoming our friend but making us want him dead (especially with no “FUCK”)
Once you get passed all the killing, Negan is an awesome guy. He is funny and is just trying to get people to like him, maybe a little too hard at times. These guys would both do really well at bringing the best out of your friendly neighborhood psychopath.
I should play Negan. I’m 29, from England; like the best actors on the show haha, but grew up in Kansas, 6’4, 240lbs. I even have an oversized baseball bat I made in wood shop 15 years ago, that I got a C on because it was too big. It’s name is “Peace Keeper” though, not “Lucille.” Made quite a few appearances at house parties that got out of hand. I also wouldn’t look for a huge paycheck, because I’m a nobody.
Elias Toufexis. He is perfect for almost any role on this show and should have been cast a looooong time ago. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed !!!
What about Vinnie Jones? Maybe he would fit, at least in the badass/comic part 😛
I voted Durand but I’d love to see Temuera Morrison pull a little bit of this character back minus the cursing and become Negan.
I always hear Bryan Cranston’s voice when I read Negan’s lines. Some people might disagree because he’s “too old/too short” but (to be said in the spirit of Negan) WHO THE FUCK CARES, HE’D DO A GREAT FUCKING JOB!
Honestly, since Negan likely can’t say fuck on basic cable, they need to make up for it in the actor and their skills.
I love the idea of Henry Rollins playing him, he’s insane-ly good. And he’s fuckin’ insane himself.
Jon Hamm, I’d be perfectly fine with him playing Negan. He’s iconic, recognizable and an equally amazing actor.
Patrick Warburton, iconic voice and he played Kronk. He’s already in my top three picks. Everyone else, eh. Those three are basically the best possible options, unless Kirkman has an ace up his sleeve
Because u wanna eat his booty like groceries?
I think Pornstash from Orange is the New Black would be a good actor for Negan.
I think Josh Brolin would do a brilliant job. If not him then Henry Rollins.
If you are gonna talk about known actors, Gary Oldman played a great bad guy in the book of eli
My Money is on Jon Hamm. But Rollins or Idris Elba would be rad too.
His trademeark motormouth shtick could offset the lack of profanity on TV.
He’s charismatic enough that you could see why people would put up with him.
In Made, he does that insane bouncing back & forth between psychotic as*hole and positive goal-setter.
And he has a darkness. He’ll surprise a lot of people in True Detective 2.
That is, assuming Canseco isn’t available.
Bruce Campbell should play Negan! He has the absolute perfect lawful evil attitude required for the job. “This is Lucille, my BOOMSTICK!!!”
Wow didn’t think of Campbell, he would absolutely kill it. Too bad he’s starting a new show.
I think Liev Schreiber would make a great Neagan. If not him then I would vote for Kevin Durand.
“Ooo… shiny!”_ Sabretooth
Jon Hamm would be absolutely fucking fuckity amazing!!!
Scott Hall, an X WWE wrestler, so acting is there.
Vinnie Jones would be perfect to play negan
Vinnie Jones would be perfect to play negan. Please
GREAT suggestion with Vinnie Jones! I could totally see that too! I voted for Chris Meloni, but Vinnie Jones could totally pull it off too now that I think about it. Vinnie was immortalized to me after he played Bullet Tooth Tony in Snatch!! There are a number of Brits on Walking Dead so what’s one more?!
If anyone here watches Supernatural tv show then you know that jensen ackles is a great actor and could do a character as bad as Negan.
He is a great actor but most people are suggesting older actors so I think that maybe a character that is in Rick’s age could be great for the Tv show
Also he has his own style and he can really act an insane character.
I found it challenging to come up with some good casting options for Negan below the age 40.
The governer was a great character but he was older so I kind of a gree with you that they should be older actors.
But Robert patison it just kind of seems like a joke too me that they would even concider him
He would be just awful.
I honestly think all of these except Henry Rollins were put here as a joke. The dude from SVU could never in a million years play Negan.
Jeremy Holm – House of Cards. Anyone who’s seen him in it will know he has the necessary amounts of creepy.
How about Rory McCann aka The hound?
I think he would be awesome, provided he could tone down his accent (as nice as it is, I don’t see Negan being Scottish… lol) Otherwise…I just think would he would be so badass in the part!
Also, I wanna see the Jerky Boys as featured guests for a year. They’re big guys, and they could bring some yuks.
Big yes to Henry Rollins. Two others that I think would do well with as Negan are Clancy Brown or Ron Perlman.
Andrew Dice Clay?
Love the idea of Idris Alba, but if you really want to use someone from the wire I would go with Michael Kenneth Williams. I also love the idea of Vinnie Jones, but has anyone thought about Boondock Saint’s counter part Sean Patrick Flanery?
I voted for Kevin Durand
Jon Hamm? Don’t get me wrong, I just think he’s super hot, but it’s really hard for me to see him as Negan. He would probably be great, it would be interesting to see him in such a dark role. Has he expressed interest? Does anyone know?
Perhaps another English actor we aren’t too familiar with would be better.
They could legitimately just use the empty suit with a question mark for a head and the character would likely have as much depth as any of the current characters…
Gotta go with Michael Madsen!Come on he played Mr.Blonde the crazy psychopath in Reservoir Dogs! Make it happen Kirkman!
Shi’ sug’, I’ll do it. ;3 I’m pretty tired of not having fun. You want a gender swap, or just anyone. I’m game. XD I haven’t done any acting since college (helping out some friends; doing animation stuff and thangs for classes), but I enjoy playing a weirdo. :3 Down side is that would make me the enemy of my team I’m wanting to all live. XD Not that that would inhibit me. X3 XP X3 XD
I’m so bored. X.
definitely not Durand. I’m sorry but I can’t take that guy seriously. He always makes me feel like he’s trying too hard.
Just imagine having somebody like bruce willis
I would love to have him but I doubt he would accept being in the walking dead
I would enjoy many of these actors as Negan, I just want to see Negan as he is portrayed in the comics, a Foul Mouthed Mega Leader!!
Dan bilzerian he’s got it all sex mad gun mad completely mad.. or vinnie Jones of course
why not mr jeffrey dean morgan?
Was about to post this myself. I can’t think of anyone else who would be a better fit. He can pull off creepy, is physically intimidating, and is a dead ringer for Negan. I can already see him leaning in to Andy Lincoln, whispering “”I just slid my dick down your throat and you thanked me for it.” as he takes Lucille back.
I know it is highly unlikely that he’d join the show, but that doesn’t make me want it any less.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
When I was reading the comics, I thought who could play this with his comic timing and sadistic charisma, and I thought of Vince Vaughn. I thought he would completely play against type. I’ve heard absolutely no one mention him also. It would be frickin awesome if John Hamm got the gig.
The best unorthodox choice is Michael K Williams a/k/a Omar Little a/k/a Chalky White. He will crush the role and be a high addition to the show.
I would love to see a badass woman like Lucy Lawless play the Negan role. But instead of Negan, her name could be Lucille. The bat could be named Negan. She could still have a harem of women. However, if it is a man I like Kevin Durand for it best.
This was just a good one.
Jeffery Dean Morgan. Seeing him as the Comedian in Watchmen made me want to see him play in an action role for a longer period of time, like a series. I think he could easily fit the bill for a baseball bat wielding lunatic.
Bruce Campbell Is a great Actor For Negan
What about Holt McCallany?