Back in 2011, Frank Darabont was relieved as the executive producer and showrunner of ‘The Walking Dead’. After being there from the very inception of the series based on Robert Kirkman’s acclaimed zombie comic book, he stepped down and allowed veteran producer Glen Mazzara to step into the position for Season Two. Then, lasting a bit longer than Darabont, Scott M. Gimple replaced Mazzara for the fourth season. Despite all these years passing between the firing of the first showrunner until now, it appears that bad blood is still present as the network has just been slapped with a hefty lawsuit concerning Darabont’s departure from the high rated fan favorite television show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Darabont’s lawsuit claims that AMC’s actions “breached his contract and deprived him of tens of millions of dollars in profits” and that the cable channel never explained the firing to the public or to Darabont himself. The producer’s lawyer, Dale Kinsella, weighed in on the allegations being made in this suit:
“AMC’s conduct toward Frank to date has been nothing short of atrocious. Unfortunately, the fans of The Walking Dead have suffered as well by being deprived of his creative talent.”
The 73-page suit, which can be viewed in it’s entirety at Deadline, states that Darbont and his agents at CAA have yet to see any money from the show after contributing as a profit participant. It also accuses AMC of “self-dealing”, which sets an unrealistically low license fee for the series and employs “questionable accounting practices thus depriving profit participants of compensation”. Additionally, the complaint sites wrongful termination, the removal of his executive producer credit from the show, and entitled revenue from other shows related to ‘The Walking Dead’ such as ‘Talking Dead’ and the upcoming spinoff being developed by Kirkman as prominent issues that he has with his dealings with AMC.
While all the reports contain a whole lot of legal mumbo jumbo, the bottom line is that there are some shady dealings going on at AMC that has apparently kept rightful and contractually agreed upon cash flow from coming to Frank Darabont. So far, AMC has declined to comment on the developing story, but they have until mid-January to reply to the summons before risk of default judgment. Basically, if we didn’t have an answer to why the first showrunner of ‘The Walking Dead’ was fired before, we’re sure to have one soon.
What do you think of this seemingly deep hole that AMC looks to have dug for themselves over money and Frank Darabont? Do you see this lawsuit affecting the future of ‘The Walking Dead’? Weigh in on the conversation in the comments.