We’ve come a long way from The Walking Dead teasing Negan’s Season 6 finale debut, and it’s of interest to look back at some of the early rumors for casting. Among the names floated were Justified and Santa Clarita Diet star Timothy Olyphant, though the actor now claims he’d never had anything to do with it.

DigitalSpy had a chance to ask Olyphant about the rumor, which got started in a since-adjusted THR article mentioning Morgan, Matt Dillon and Garret Dillahunt as potential competition for the role. If someone on Olyphant’s team put up for the role, however, the actor himself wasn’t aware:

I’m not familiar with it. I mean, I know it exists and I hear it’s great. But if somebody offered me a part in The Walking Dead, I never heard about it.

Of the names listed above, Olyphant’s Justified co-star Dillahunt likely generated the most speculation, given his tweets about reading The Walking Dead’s comic source material, and mutual follows for cast and crew. Black Flag icon Henry Rollins also auditioned for the role, having served as inspiration for the comic Negan’s likeness.

Mixed though reception of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s role has been (dude leans back a lot), it’s certainly hard to picture Olyphant in the role, and we’re glad he’s continuing to explore comedy. In the meantime, The Walking Dead Season 7 will resume on February 12, Negan and all.

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