Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn't even know there would be a cliffhanger. He told Entertainment Weekly that, when he shot "The Walking Dead" Season 6 finale, he didn't know who Negan was killing, but he also didn't think it would be held over until Season 7. He didn't find out who Negan had killed until he saw the first script for the new season. But he's fine with the cliffhanger decision, and said the whole "Walking Dead" team was shocked by the fan outrage.
Here's what JDM told EW about the cliffhanger reactions:
"Yeah, it surprised me how upset people were. I think it kind of shocked all of us, frankly, that people were so upset. Look, it's storytelling at its best, and from the beginning of time there's been cliffhangers. And by the way, I didn't even know it was going to end in a cliffhanger. I didn't know that, you know? The way that we shot it last year, my feeling was they just didn't want to see us actors see the crushing blows of who was at the end of Lucille, so they were going to shoot that separately, and we would see it at the finale. It turns out exactly what I shot is exactly how it ended.
But I liked it. Don't get me wrong, I certainly understand the audience being pissed for a day or two, but to dwell on it as much as they have, I think it's good for one. I think by the time October rolls around all those people who are like, 'I'm never watching Walking Dead again. I feel cheated,' they're going to be the first ones lined up in front of their television. And I'll say this, you have to be careful what you wish for, audience, because you're going to get those answers answered and more, and you're probably not going to be happy with it."
We knew we wouldn't be happy with what happened, we just wanted to have the Band-Aid ripped off quick -- after a season of Negan Is Coming teases, it seemed like we'd get that one comic book scene delivered intact at the end of it all. But it's not the end of the world, and if fans still "dwell" on it too much it's probably because the TWD stars keep getting asked about it, so it stays in the public eye. It's not like they can tease much else from the new season since we don't even know who will be alive. They boxed themselves into that corner.
So now we are in the limbo of someone's stay of execution. One (or more) of those characters is now gone, and JDM is probably right that even the angriest fans will be back to see who got the bat, and what will happen from there.
"The Walking Dead" Season 7 premieres Sunday, October 23 on AMC.
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