The Walking Dead has been reticent to kill off series regulars over the last few seasons, often to the detriment of fan-favorite supporting stars, though most all in the know expect some major death to punctuate the April Season 6 finale. And lest you think that Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan won’t swing a bat at someone, The Walking Dead showrunner is here to assure you.

Indeed, while AMC often “remixes” major character beats and death scenes (SPOILER Warning: Denise’s Sunday fate originally belonged to Abraham), it seems as if showrunner Scott Gimple intends to preserve Negan’s entrance mostly as-is. Whomever faces the barbed end of comic bat “Lucille” is up for grabs, but Gimple tells Entertainment Weekly:

Let me put it this way: Whatever it is, it’s really just all in service to being faithful to the comic book inasmuch as one can. That’s always going to be relatively subjective as to what that means. But taking inspiration from the moments of the comic book and playing them out to the ends of what it can be, it’s all just like taking that moment from the book and figuring out a way to turn it up to get those feelings that it gave you and those emotions that it gave you that much more.

Sometimes we have things from the book that people who read the comics maybe see coming a mile away, and we try to adjust that so that we can give them the same feeling they had when reading the book, which might have been shock or surprise or fear, any of those things. It might be wildly different, but it’s all to get the same sort of feelings that you got when you read them. So will it be different? Absolutely. Will it be the same thing? Absolutely.

So much of the changes of what we do in the comic have to do with that. Sometimes things happen to completely different characters. It wasn’t Lizzie who killed Mika. Carl was the one involved that story when it was Billy and Ben. But I think we still got that same sort of emotion and horror that we got from that moment in the book. So we want to tell the story of the book but from an emotional standpoint first, and that does often create the changes that we do.

At the very least, we know the character’s entrance was shot two different ways to accommodate the character’s more colorful vocabulary for deleted scenes, but The Walking Dead isn’t about to mess with one of the series’ most iconic moments, regardless of the character given the grisly outcome, right?

We’ll find out for sure on April 3, while the penultimate “East” Season 6 installment airs this coming Sunday.

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