‘Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan Teases a Changed Negan in the Midseason Premiere

Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Whisperers — who mask themselves with the skin of the dead like so many Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherfaces — made their existence known in The Walking Dead‘s midseason finale. And when the apocalyptic drama returns, these new villains and murderers of heroic Jesus (Tom Payne) aren’t backing off.

“They want to be able to blend in and walk the world,” executive producer Angela Kang explains of the stealth killers and their unique form of camouflage. Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the other survivors are “gradually learning how formidable this group is,” Yang adds.

We’ll discover more about their origins sooner rather than later, teases Kang — especially the “interesting” backstory of leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). “She’s unlike other women and other antagonists we’ve come across. She’s incredibly strong and scary, but you’ll also see some unexpected aspects of her.”

Meanwhile, Dead‘s last big bad, ex-Saviors boss Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), found the door to his Alexandria cell unlocked — so in the midseason premiere, he spends time on the outside. Morgan tells us Negan has a “long game” but also drops the R-word. Redemption? For a guy who thinks nothing of crushing skulls with his barbwire baseball bat?

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Be ready to cover your eyes — the latest trailer features what could be the scariest group ever on the AMC hit series.

“Negan has learned some things being locked up. He’s trying to put his best foot forward,” the actor says, adding mischievously, “which isn’t always the best foot.”

The Walking Dead, Midseason Premiere, Sunday, February 10, 9/8c, AMC