Back in September 2015, TVLine broke the news that Xander Berkeley had been cast in an unknown role ahead of the sixth season of The Walking Dead. Speculation began circulating that he could appear as Negan, a violent and notorious villain present in the graphic novels on which the show is based. However, the publication at the time confirmed that was not the case, without naming who he actually was going to be playing in the AMC horror series.
Well now, just over a month before the season resumes after its winter hiatus, it has. Berkeley will be playing Gregory, a baddie who like Negan, also stems from the adult comics. In Robert Kirkman's source material, Gregory is the leader of the Hilltop Colony and somewhat of a weasel-like coward. Without giving too much of the plot away, he proves a real pain for fan-favourite existing characters Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and plays a huge part in introducing Negan, who will be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, to the rest of the group with disastrous consequences for for both him and the original gang.
Another new character set to join in the latter half of season six is Paul "Jesus" Monroe, who will be brought to life on the small screen by Waterloo Road actor Tom Payne. In the comics, Monroe is a former Hilltop Colony resident and becomes somewhat of an ally to Rick, Carol, Daryl and the rest.
It's safe to say, Negan won't be quite so friendly, however. Introduced in the comics in The Walking Dead #100, he is known as the leader of a group called The Saviours. He is part of one of the most memorable moments of the TWD comics in which he kills Glenn with his barbed wire-covered baseball bat. The show doesn't tend to follow the comics exactly, so whether or not that pivotal storyline will feature remains unclear.
The Walking Dead's sixth season will continue on AMC from 14 February 2016. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with, what is bound to be a pretty gruesome episode of your favourite zombie series, eh? If you want to catch up on the series before it returns, then check out our review recaps here.
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