Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Walkers Invade the Field on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2: “Infected”

UPDATE: During the Amazing Arizona Comicon in January 2014, Robert Kirkman shared more details on Negan joining The Walking Dead TV show. “It’s a question of when not if," he said (via "We actually talk about that a bit in the writer’s room as to when it would be appropriate to bring him in and what needs to happen in order to get to that point. Unless the show gets canceled abruptly very soon, you’ll see Negan on the TV show. Like Season 9?”

Season 9! Wow. We were thinking Season 6 or something. Maybe he'll change that later, it sounds like he was just throwing out numbers like the rest of us.

Original story:

This town ain’t big enough for two major villains.

The Walking Dead Season 4 just dispatched The Governor (David Morrissey) — who briefly tried to go right before reverting to very wrong — and it will probably be a long time before we meet another “big bad” from the comics.

Robert Kirkman’s series is still being written, and right now he’s focusing on Team Rick’s battle with The Saviors, who are led by this guy Negan, who carries around a baseball bat covered in barbed wire named Lucille. (She’s got some ‘splainin’ to do!)

But that’s way, way down the pike in terms of where we are in Season 4. Back in July, Robert and showrunner Scott Gimple admitted they were tempted to bring in Negan early, since he’s such an intriguing character, but there’s too much they have to set up before that point.

Entertainment Weekly just asked Robert for an update on when we might expect to see Negan, and he reiterated that they could bring him in earlier than the comics timeframe.

“But I definitely do think there needs to be some kind of space from a Governor into a Negan,” he told EW. “You have to have something of a break in there. So I wouldn’t expect him to be showing up — definitely not in Season 4. I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect it too soon. But we are all very excited about the prospect of bringing that guy into the show. The plan is that we will see him eventually.”

Eventually. This show is so popular, it could go on and on, but you don’t want the TV show to outpace the books. Season 5 is already a go for 2014-2015, and we’re expecting it to premiere in mid-October, like most of the other seasons. Maybe we can pencil Negan in for Season ...6? Does that sound like the right timeline, or does that sound too early/too late to you?

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: Entertainment Weekly