5 Actors That Could Play Negan in The Walking Dead | Fanboys Anonymous

5 Actors That Could Play Negan in The Walking Dead

Posted by Fellonius Munch Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Welcome, Fanboys, what's goin' on? Dan Ashley here with another juicy, mouth-watering prime cut of entertainment stipulation, and I'd like more fans of The Walking Dead to start asking what many of us have already been asking for a long time…

Who will be playing Negan by the time that murderously happy psychopath rears his ugly head?
The Walking Dead Glen Death Scene
As pleasant and well-mannered a psychotic tyrant as you could ever want!
I've been trawling the Internet looking for a sign, a glimpse, a hint, at the very least some flat-out wishful thinking. So far, all I've come across is the latter. And you know what?
Italian Chef It Sucks humour meme
For reasons that come down to how the series has chosen its talent thus far, there are three ways writer Scott Gimple can see to this. One is that he can take his pick from any number of faithful Frank Darabont actor favourites—whoops, maybe not, it appears he just sent the last of them away at the end of the most recent episode, "Indifference..."

Well, there are still effectively three ways he can do this:

One—the same way Darabont picked up Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker—he can take his pick from an army of all-time B-movie and horror acting favourites that Walking Dead fans are bound to know and love already.

Two, he takes his pick from the crop of proven British actors. Andrew Lincoln proved successful as Rick Grimes, as did David Morrissey as the Governor. Why stop there?

Or three, he uses some common sense, watches some award-winning television, keeps up with pop culture (actual culture, not whomever Bieber is currently offending with his baby-faced ignorance), then gives the right talent a chance, thus giving fans a truly unforgettable lead bad guy.

the walking dead glen's murder scene

Now I'm just rambling. So to shut me up sooner rather than later, here are five actors that should seriously be considered for the part of Negan in The Walking Dead:

GI Joe Retaliation Fireflt villain actor Ray Stevenson

Ray Stevenson has many excellent U.S. film and television credits under his belt and in quite a considerably short space of time, considering he only started getting noticed across the pond after his lead role in the much maligned Punisher: War Zone. However, the way he went from that to the unrelentingly spooky Outpost and the comical Thor to The Book of Eli, The Other Guys, and Dexter, and with his great range and energy, you wouldn't think that the guy kicking the Rock's ass in GI Joe: Retaliation is pushing 50 years old. As Isaac Sirko in Dexter, Stevenson was Dexter's greatest match. Yet as stone cold and confident as he was, you couldn't help but be infatuated with the character, knowing that much more than just a killer lay beneath the surface. Stevenson loves his horror and sci-fi; he gets heavily involved in learning new stunts for his action scenes; and he also loves a deep character with a few twists. I think he'd make a great Negan, and would enjoy wielding Lucille…perhaps a little too much?!

The Walking Dead Negan executes Glen with Lucille baseball bat
"You want a bag of frozen peas for that, mate!"

Canadian horror actor Alan Van Sprang promotional photo
"…because you'd tell me if my hair was messy, right?"
Hear me out here, folks. Canadian Alan Van Sprang is a veteran of film and television who's been going since the mid-nineties. You may remember that he's featured in three George Romero zombie movies (not one, not two, but THREE): Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead. He's also featured in Saw III and that nasty, gritty Ray Liotta cop drama Narc. He can command screen presence, loves getting into character, knows the drill of zombie movie action scenes, and have you not seen that stir-crazy gleam in his eyes? An unlikely choice, yes. But a good one? Yes!

Breaking Bad actor and comedian Bill Burr portrait photo

There are many instances in film history in which nobody could scare an audience quite like a comedian. I guess that's what makes Batman's Joker such an iconic psychopath. For clowns at least, you also have Tim Curry's turn as Pennywise in Stephen King's IT. Bill Burr, however, is already scary as hell when it comes to his stand-up and Monday Morning Podcasts. The guy admits to having huge issues, and it's both true and a huge part of his routine. So I wondered: what had Bill brought to film and television so far? It turns out, he's been making a name for himself already. Apart from playing Kuby in Breaking Bad, he's also recently featured in Stand Up Guys, The Heat, and Date Night. He's also working on a new project titled… Zombeavers! But what is it? When I watch his videos and listen to his podcasts and read the insane filth spouting from Negan's mouth, why do I see Bill Burr in biker leather, swinging a baseball bat wound with barbed wire and terrorising the shit out of Camp Grimes? Bill Burr might only have limited acting experience, but he just might have that edge The Walking Dead will be looking for!

Punisher Hung actor Thomas Jane villain role in Walking Dead

Award-winning B-movie, drama, and action star Thomas Jane has just about everything The Walking Dead could want and need. To back up that cocky statement, I point out that from day one Jane was the man Frank Darabont wanted for the role of Rick Grimes. Because he was then working on HBO's Hung, Jane couldn't take on the role, but he still expressed a great desire to join the show at a later date—AS A BAD GUY! There's a massive hint that Scott Gimple should already be on the phone to Jane asking him to get a haircut and get back to training like he did when he bagged the role of Mickey Mantle in 2001. But when has Thomas Jane ever played the bad guy, you might ask? You'd be surprised. Although he hasn't done much in that category since the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and The Crow: City of Angels, his "good" characters often have a rotten or antisocial demeanor to them that plants them firmly in antihero territory. What do you say we give him a little push to the other side?

The Walking Dead Negan and the Saviours
"FFS it's not difficult, we have tomato soup or chicken…"

Sons of Anarchy actor comedian and singer Henry Rollins Walking Dead Negan
Fact: Henry Rollins could turn Medusa to stone.
My own personal choice for Negan, and reading straight from the comics, Henry Rollins is the guy that would best personify the instability, rage, flat-out nastiness, and inherent evil that is this all-life-ending leather-clad lunatic. Henry Rollins has the look, the anger, the tense and unstable calm, and the humour. He also has decades of acting experience—Sons of Anarchy, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Teen Titans, The Devil's Tomb, Bad Boys II, Johnny Mnemonic, The Chase, Heat—and the undeniable ability to scare The Walking Dead's audience shitless, especially if his adaptational character is as demented as the comic book version. Seriously, if I were Gimple, I'd buy up the hundred-odd issues of existing comics and personally post them to Henry with a note, reading something like: "Drop your life, you start next month!"

That is my countdown of who should play Negan in The Walking Dead. Add your comments and suggestions below! Thanks for reading. Here is some bonus Rollins with a Walking Dead reference caption, for your enjoyment:
Sons of Anarchy Henry Rollins for Walking Dead Negan

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