The actor posted a lengthy tribute to Chandler Riggs after Carl’s final episode Sunday.
[This story contains spoilers from The Walking Dead TV series and the comics it is based on.]
Add Jeffrey Dean Morgan to the list of Walking Dead diehards disappointed by the shortened Carl-Negan storyline.
The actor behind dastardly villain Negan posted a lengthy tribute to Chandler Riggs after the teenager’s Carl Grimes was killed off during Sunday’s season eight midseason premiere. In his post, Morgan shared his respect and admiration for Riggs, noting that his performance as Carl — and arc from the comics with Negan — was a major reason why he wanted to join The Walking Dead. But he also took issue with how the Carl and Negan’s on-screen storyline was cut short by the AMC drama’s decision to shockingly kill off the one-eyed wonder.
“Honestly … a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits … was because I was such a fan of the Negan-Carl relationship in the comics … that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be disappointed we only scratched the surface of what could have been,” Morgan wrote.
In the comics, Negan and Carl form an unlikely bond in the time jump following the “All-Out War” arc. With Riggs’ time as Carl having been cut short on the AMC series — the character is still very much alive in the comics and is seen as the future of the source material — Negan and Carl only were able to share the first chapter in their story.
Morgan previously told The Hollywood Reporter that he was a fan of the graphic novel that inspired the series and one of his “favorite things” was the “relationship Negan has with Carl.”
“I felt moved and totally fascinated by it when I read it,” he said in an October 2016 interview. “As a fan of the comic and the guy playing Negan, I’d certainly be pushing for a lot of that relationship to stay intact for the television show.”
For his part, Riggs told THR in December that Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple’s decision to shockingly kill Carl was part of a way to bridge the gap between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) not wanting to kill Negan and Rick also really wanting to kill Negan. “Scott’s way to get around that was to make Carl this really humanitarian figure and person who could see the good in people and see that people can change and not everyone out there is bad,” Riggs told THRafter December’s midseason finale revealed that Carl had in fact been bitten and was dying. “That’s what Carl’s talk to Rick was in this episode: There’s no way that they can kill every one of the Saviors and not everyone is a bad person and there has to be some way forward than just killing people.”
Read Morgan’s full tribute to Riggs, below.
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