The Walking Dead’s season six finale was not well-received by many fans and critics who took issue with the episode’s infuriating cliffhanger ending. However, there has been one element of the finale that has received near-universal praise: Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s menacing performance as newly-introduced villain Negan. And while it’s small consolation for fans who were left disappointed by the episode as a whole, the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of season six will at least make Negan’s scene even better thanks to some additions that will put him more in line with the character from the comics.
As anyone familiar with the character is well aware, Negan is an intensely foul-mouthed character in the comics and because of this, the show’s producers decided to shoot two different versions of the finale, just in case Negan’s colorful language didn’t go over well with the brass at AMC (which it clearly didn’t)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the actor playing Negan, addressed this concern back in December, telling Entertainment Weekly that they would try to keep the character as close to his comics counterpart as possible:
“Look, it’s a speed bump. I’m not going to say it’s an issue because they’re working on it. We’re going to push AMC — the plan is to push them as far as they can because it’s who Negan is. He uses some colorful language. And I use some colorful language. And reading the comic, it’s important. So we’ll see where that lands. It’s our intention that this character is going to leap off the pages of the comic book. It’s very important that that’s who it is. Some of the characters there’s much more leeway, but Negan is a guy that you want to keep as true as possible, and that would be how I want to play him as well.”
And in a recent interview with EW, Walking Dead executive producer and director Greg Nicotero confirmed that the home video cut will be the superior version:
“We had to shoot two versions — we had to shoot the Blu-ray version, which had a lot of the swearing and a lot of Negan’s colorful language, and then we had to shoot the broadcast version. So when you get the DVD or the Blu-ray version, that will have the full Negan speech from the graphic novel.”
“I know Jeffrey and I both kind of preferred that version, it just felt better to be able to say swear words.”
Although Morgan gave a fantastic performance in the broadcast version of the finale, his monologue felt neutered without all the cussing his character his known for in the comics, and it sounds like this unrated version will only enhance an already intense scene. Unfortunately, that whole cliffhanger issue won’t be getting fixed, so don’t hold out any hope of finding out who Negan kills in the last shot of the episode.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD on August 23.