Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan isn't going anywhere. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he is just one of four actors who have been upped to series regulars on AMC's "The Walking Dead." Tom Payne (Jesus), Austin Amelio (Dwight) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory) have all also been promoted to season regular for Season 7.
The four will join a season regular cast that includes Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Norman Reedus (Darryl), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Cohan, Chandler Riggs (Carl), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Lennie James (Morgan), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Ross Marquand (Aaron) and Austin Nichols (Spencer). However, it's more than likely one of these existing season regulars will meet their untimely end at Negan's hands.
Additionally, two all-new characters are headed to the show, and -- as described -- the pair appear to be original to the show rather than adapted from the Image Comics series' massive cast: Naomi, "a grandmotherly type who, having lost so many loved ones, is now willing to do whatever it takes not to have to bury any more"; and Jennie, "a sunny-side-up kinda teenager, kind, with a world-weary toughness."
Season 6 of "The Walking Dead" ended with one of the most brutal cliffhangers of the series, leaving us to ponder for the summer: Who did Negan kill? The Season 7 premiere will pick up at this moment, and so it's unclear how and when these two new characters will be introduced into the show's canon, as no further details beyond this critical moment have been released.
"The Walking Dead" will return to AMC for its seventh season this October.