‘Dead City’ Panel at WonderCon Reveals Why Maggie & Negan Team Up in AMC’s New ‘Walking Dead’ Spin-Off
"It's like an exercise in intimacy with the worst possible person." - Lauren Cohan
One of the best, most complex relationships on The Walking Dead was between Maggie and Negan. While we had to say goodbye to the flagship show, there are three new shows coming our way that will expand The Walking Dead universe.
AMC’s Dead City premieres Sunday, June 18th at 10 PM ET, after Fear the Walking Dead (subsequent episodes will air Sundays at 9 PM ET). The series zeroes in on Maggie and Negan and forces them to rely on each other in a new location: New York City.
Here’s AMC’s official logline:
The Walking Dead: Dead City follows the popular Maggie (Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) characters traveling into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror.
Chris Hardwick (current host of AMC’s Talking Dead and former host of MTV’s Singled Out) moderated Dead City‘s first-ever WonderCon panel on Saturday. Information on the new show has been scant so far. But showrunner Eli Jorné and stars Lauren Cohan and Walking Dead Universe newcomer Gaius Charles filled in a lot of blanks for the fans at WonderCon 2023.
What’s happening with Maggie and Negan in Dead City?
While Maggie and Negan came to a sort of resolution by the end of TWD, Maggie cannot bring herself to forgive him. She is still carrying a lot of anger over Negan murdering her husband. So, why the heck is she teaming up with him in Manhattan? For the only reason she ever would: to save her son.
Dead City starts a few years after the end of TWD, and Maggie’s son, Herschel, has been abducted. Maggie tracks him as best she can, and her search takes her to New York. For some reason, Negan is connected to the kidnapper. So she needs Negan’s help to save her son.
Meanwhile, Negan is being hunted by a New Babylon marshal named Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles), who is determined to bring Negan to justice. Why? We don’t know. But in exclusive Dead City footage shared by AMC at WonderCon, Maggie makes the point that they need each other. Maggie needs Negan to rescue Herschel, and Negan needs Maggie to give him cover from the marshal.
“It’s really interesting. What we see is … it’s still very unprocessed,” Cohan said about the tense truce Maggie has with Negan on the show. “The level of trauma that we know happened between Maggie and Negan, I think in Dead City we really get a chance to say like, ‘What is this? What does it take to, if ever, move through it?’ And more than anything, it’s just this chance for us to be forced together on this mission […] But the tension, and the immovable things are still very present.”
Cohan went on to say:
“I think something that’s really cool, too, that we got to do in the show … we’ve seen them intersect so often here and there within The Walking Dead, but in this show, it’s really this tunnel that they’re trapped in to face things that they may run away from … More [what] Maggie, I think, has run away from and what Negan brings up for her… And it’s just been really gratifying to know this character for so long, but then have to, like … it’s like an exercise in intimacy with the worst possible person.”
Jorné emphasized this complicated relationship as his priority when creating and writing the show. “It’s this post-apocalyptic playground,” he explained. “But at the center of it all is still the next chapter in the story of Maggie and Negan.”
“So, in that sense, it’s about grief and trauma and loss—on both sides—and how do you navigate that? And these two people who’ve got to come together … How does Maggie every day look at Negan’s face and remember what he did to the love of her life? So, that’s still a huge part of the show. For anybody who’s watched [TWD] all these years and connected to these characters, we’re just continuing the story, and evolving it, and growing it, and deepening it in a whole new landscape. […]That’s what I’ve always connected to with the show … Their relationship at the center of it all.”
I know what I’ll be doing in June! Who else is excited to see the return of Maggie and Negan? Tell us below!
(Featured image: Peter Kramer/AMC)
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