As The Walking Dead increasingly embraces its comic roots, fans both count down to and dread the arrival of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, a larger-than-life villain whose ilk we’ve not yet seen. One at least wonders how the foul-mouthed foe will express himself under AMC standards, and it seems showrunners have filmed alternate takes to accommodate his sinful swearing.

Entertainment Weekly had the chance to speak to three of The Walking Dead’s biggest bosses from creator Robert Kirkman, to showrunner Scott Gimple and EP Greg Nicotero, all of whom acknowledged the challenge of translating Negan’s colorful language for the screen. As we’ve seen at least once prior, the show isn’t above alternate f-bomb takes for the Blu-ray release, and may follow a similar track for Negan.

All three men acknowledged shooting Negan’s entrance (and some future scenes) both ways, Nicotero offering:

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.

It’s not beyond possibility that showrunners could have filmed Negan’s first finale scene several other ways as well, being associated with a major death in the comics, one the series likely hopes to keep under wraps.

In any case, check out the latest from Sunday’s “Knots Untie” below, and count down to Negan’s The Walking Dead debut.

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