The mid-season finale of The Walking Dead revealed Negan will be introduced as it featured the Saviors confronting Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham.
Creator Robert Kirkman offered the following about Negan, who will be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, to EW.com:
“As far as shake-ups go, we have lots of shake-ups from season to season. It keeps things interesting — keeps the blood pumping, I like to say — but Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show and the show will probably never be the same after that. So buckle up, I guess?”
“I think the Saviors are dangerously organized. The Wolves were psychotic, the Hunters [the group from Terminus] had a lot of weaknesses. When it comes to the Saviors, and Negan in particular, the way I’ve always thought about this in the comics is this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality, but is still an intellectual and capable leader who’s kept his group alive against all odds just as long as Rick has. It’s really the best encountering the best. When these two forces come head to head, things are gonna get interesting. This is a much different group than they’ve ever encountered. The Saviors are a group they’re not really prepared for.”
"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, February 14th at 9pm ET on AMC starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick, Chandler Riggs as Carl, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol, Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha, Lauren Cohan as Maggie, Steven Yeun as Glenn, Norman Reedus as Daryl, Lennie James as Morgan, Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel, Michael Cudlitz as Abraham, Josh McDermitt as Eugene, Alanna Masterson as Tara, Christian Serratos as Rosita, Tovah Feldshuh as Deanna, Ross Marquand as Aaron, Alexandra Breckenridge as Jesse, and Austin Nichols as Spencer.