Creation of Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead inspired by horror legend

Lennie James as Morgan Jones - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC
Lennie James as Morgan Jones - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

The inspiration behind Morgan’s character on The Walking Dead is meaningful.

By now, every fan of The Walking Dead knows Morgan Jones. The character was one of the first introduced in both the comic book series as well as the hit AMC zombie drama show and turned that success into a leading role in the spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead.

Morgan was introduced to help Rick Grimes adjust to the zombie apocalypse and prepare him for some of the drama and terrors that would he would later encounter. However, he wasn’t just a disposable character with no deeper meaning.

In the Cutting Room Floor section of The Walking Dead Deluxe issue 1, Robert Kirkman revealed that his inspiration for Morgan came from his love for the films of George A. Romero, who is well known for creating some of the most iconic zombie movies of all time.

Here is what Kirkman had to say about Morgan:

"“Morgan was meant to be a Romero tribute character in a lot of ways. In all three core Romero zombie movies, the coolest, most capable character is ‘the black guy’. So I knew I wanted to introduce a strong, black character right away.”"

Of course, Kirkman is right. Ben is an amazing character from Night of the Living Dead while Peter stands out from Dawn of the Dead and John is fascinating in Day of the Dead. The biggest easter egg is that Duane Jones is the name of the actor who plays Ben…and is also the son of Morgan in the TWD Universe.

So where does the name Morgan come from? Well, that’s another fun little Easter egg from Kirkman.

"“I told Tony to draw him ‘like a young Morgan Freeman’ and the name just stuck.”"

The last name Jones stuck with thanks to the nod to Duane Jones in Night of the Living Dead and it carried over to his father.

Now, when you look at The Walking Dead‘s Morgan Jones in any medium you can think about the legacy left behind by George A. Romero as well as just how freaking awesome Morgan Freeman is