The Talking Dead: Former “Walking Dead” Director, Writer, and Producer Calls Out Exec’s In Released Deposition
Frank Darabont, former director, writer, and executive producer of AMC’s hit TV series the “Walking Dead” is claiming that the channel was cutting the budget of the show, pocketing tax credits, and only coming to the set for short stints of time before “going back to their air conditioned New York Offices.” In the recently released deposition Darabont held nothing back as he continued to slam the network for not receiving his “fully vested” stake in the profits from AMC’s mega-hit.
Darabont and his CAA agents have been in litigation for years with AMC as Darabont has been seeking portions of the shows profits as well as profits of the TWD spin-off “Fear the Walking Dead.” Darabont’s original claims where also for breach of contract and wrongful termination. AMC claims that Darabont has been rightfully compensated for his participation in the 1st and 2nd seasons of the show.
Over the course of the litigation the battle has gotten messy at certain points, even bringing in other AMC hit shows into the fold. The plaintiffs were successful in their discovery motions to look into other licensing agreements from other AMC hit shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad as the plaintiffs claim that AMC treats shows from 3rd party studios more favorably when it comes to licensing and distributing. Of the three shows TWD is created by AMC studios. The plaintiffs claim that AMC engaged in “self-dealing” to foster artificially low license fees for TWD to get out of contractually obligated profit payments.
(Frank Darabont: Ex-Director, Writer, and Executive Producer of the Walking Dead TV Series)
The litigation has seen amended complaints and now the unreleased deposition is a new headline in this heated battle between ex-director and the network. Darabont, a writer on The Shawshank Redemption, was canned from TWD after its first season and during production of the second season. Darabont was an integral part in bringing the adapted comic from the pages to the small screen. TWD has been AMC’s flagship show after it received the highest debut of any network show in history and continues to be a leader in ratings in its time slot and overall out of any show not only currently on tv, but in the history of tv. Other claims from Darabont in the deposition include mistreatment of the staff and crew as they work hard in the sticky Atlanta (where the show is filmed) weather as the execs pocket the tax rights from filming in Georgia.
For now it seems like the lengthy litigation will continue to commence. The Walking Dead is now in its sixth season While ratings have dipped somewhat, it has still held firm to its core fanbase and remains to be a hit on tv, pop culture, and the comic following. TWD has also expanded into a successful franchise as it has also birthed a series of successful episodic video games that have been critically acclaimed.