'The Walking Dead' season 6 news, spoilers: Negan could pop up sooner than expected, showrunner reveals

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While previous reports have suggested that the much-anticipated villain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) will probably be introduced in the current season’s finale, “The Walking Dead” showrunner Scott M. Gimple has revealed that he may actually show up much sooner – even as early as next week.

The new main villain, who “Walking Dead” comics creator Robert Kirkman has called “an atomic bomb” that will be dropped on the show, is expected to make his long-awaited debut in the final episode of season six, in which he will supposedly kill off a fan-favorite TWD character, which many expect could either be Daryl (Norman Reedus) or Glenn (Steven Yeun).

In the comics, Negan becomes the primary villain after he brutally kills Glenn using “Lucille,” the barbed wire-covered baseball bat that he has with him at all times.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming will begin this week in Atlanta for the show’s season finale.

In an interview with The Wrap, Gimple said, “There have been articles pinpointing exactly when Negan shows up, and that’s a bit disappointing, because they may not be entirely true,” he said. “There’s kind of a build up. But you might even see him next episode. Absolutely. Well, sort of. Well, definitely. Well, maybe. Maybe not. But possibly.”

Meanwhile, Morgan, who is set to join the “Walking Dead” cast as a guest star before becoming a series regular in season seven, recently revealed how his six-year-old son, Augustus, developed a fascination for zombies. During a recent guest appearance on “The Late Show,” the actor told Stephen Colbert how his son, who was then three, chanced upon him watching “The Walking Dead” and saw the scene where a horse was being eaten by zombies.

Now, the actor said, his son never gets tired of talking about zombies. “So, when I do the show, I’ll take him down to get make up done. He kind of understands that they’re fake zombies, too, but they’re based on real zombies,” he said.

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.