Jeffrey Dean Morgan wishes his The Walking Dead spin-off had been a surprise

Jeffrey Dean Morgan wishes the news of his The Walking Dead spin-off series had been kept a secret until after the main show concluded.

After 12 years and 11 seasons, the zombie horror series came to an end last weekend, however, fans of the show can continue to watch their favourite characters in three upcoming spin-off programmes.

It was announced in March that Morgan would star as Negan once again alongside Lauren Cohan as Maggie in Dead City, and at the time, he expressed his disappointment that the news was announced before the main show's finale aired.

In an interview with Deadline, Morgan explained that the stakes would have been much higher in the final episodes if viewers didn't already know which characters would make it out alive.

"I got in a little bit of trouble probably for being so vocal about it, but look, if you had watched the scene in the last episode of that lineup, imagine how much better that scene would have been if you thought Negan was going to die," he shared. "I just think that the stakes are raised that much higher, and going into a finale episode, I think the audience if they don’t know that four of your main characters or whatever it is are doing spinoffs, you know, those are four more people that may not walk away from this.

"Would we have been able to keep it a secret this long? Probably not, but f**k, let’s try. Let’s give it a go. You know, I mean, look, if it leaks out, it leaks out and that’s the end of it, but that was I guess my only point. I would have liked to have kept it as a surprise."

His co-star Cohan also agreed that the finale had "a little less suspense" due to the announcement, which she wished had been released later.

There are two more spin-offs in the pipeline - one starring Norman Reedus and the other featuring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira.