For many fans, the controversy over “The Walking Dead’s” sixth season finale stems not only from the decision not to show who Negan chose to kill, but from the changes made to his comic book counterpart’s iconic introductory speech. Though most readers of the comic understood that the swearing would be dialed down to meet basic cable standards, the decision to re-script so much of creator Robert Kirkman‘s original dialogue only served to amplify frustration over the lack of a clear victim.
Fans of the Image Comics series should be happy to learn, then, that the uncensored home video release does more than simply add some F-bombs to Negan’s dialogue; it will feature the full speech from Kirkman and Charlie Adlard‘s introduction to the character.
“We had to shoot two versions,” executive producer and director Greg Nicotero tells Entertainment Weekly. “[W]e had to shoot the Blu-ray version, which had a lot of the swearing and a lot of Negan’s colorful language, and then we had to shoot the broadcast version. So when you get the DVD or the Blu-ray version, that will have the full Negan speech from the graphic novel.”
Nicotero also defended the finale’s controversial cliffhanger by comparing it to another pivotal moment in pop culture history: the revelation of Luke Skywalker’s lineage.
“I remember sitting in the theater watching ‘Empire Strikes Back’ and having Darth Vader say “I am your father” and I was shocked and amazed, and I don’t remember being angry,” Nicotero said. “I don’t remember saying, ‘Oh, I give up on “Star Wars” because that’s lame…’ Next season is really Negan’s story and how our group has to deal with who he is and what his way of life is, so I think it’s the perfect ending to this season: watching everyone on their knees, stripped down to the barest vulnerability, and knowing that the cavalry’s not coming over the hill.
“I was very passionate about ending this season on a cliffhanger and not knowing, because I feel like it propels us into next season in a great way. So people can be upset. A week from now, they won’t be upset anymore, and it’ll be fun.”
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