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Frank Darabont sues AMC over wrongful termination from The Walking Dead

Dec. 17, 2013by: Alex Maidy

Four years after the fact, Frank Darabont still has yet to see any money from the hugely successful series he brought to television, THE WALKING DEAD. After being unceremoniously fired early into production on the second season of the AMC series, the show has gone on to increase viewers and critical acclaim with each season while also running through multiple show-runners. While Darabont has gone on to develop the currently airing series MOB CITY on TNT, this lawsuit marks the first legal action the respected filmmaker has taken against AMC.

You can head over to Deadline to read the legal details of the lawsuit, but essentially it boils down to this: Frank Darabont's agreement with AMC was that his payment would come in the form of profits from THE WALKING DEAD. But, in something that has been said before by Darabont and others, AMC has kept the budget low on THE WALKING DEAD and run the series at a deficit. Darabont's lawsuit alleges this is a way to avoid paying those who had a hand in the show's creation and development. Darabont also says he is entitled to not only money from THE WALKING DEAD but also the talk show TALKING DEAD and the proposed spin-off series that has yet to be developed.

Frank Darabont never struck me as someone who would sue at the drop of a hat, but these allegations against AMC are not new. This tactic has been used by other studios on other series and when legal action was taken many of them settled out of court. If you watch the opening credits of THE WALKING DEAD you can see that Darabont's name is retained as co-creator of the series but he gets no other credit.

THE WALKING DEAD is clearly a hit and AMC is definitely making a profit off of it. But, despite it being the creation of comic writer Robert Kirkman, the visual style and casting of the cable series owes everything to Darabont's involvement. The show is going to continue to air for years to come so hopefully Frank Darabont will get his due.

Source: Deadline

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2:09PM on 12/18/2013

GOOD

I'm glad he is suing Walking dead hasn't been the same with out him. But I must admit that the last ep of walking dead was amazing. I wish they could just do more stuff like that. I like when they pull risk's and all.
I'm glad he is suing Walking dead hasn't been the same with out him. But I must admit that the last ep of walking dead was amazing. I wish they could just do more stuff like that. I like when they pull risk's and all.
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+0
12:58PM on 12/18/2013
While I don't think TWD is anywhere near my list of the top shows I've have ever seen...I still enjoy it. As with Marvel, I'm not too bothered that they're reportedly pretty cheap/tight in how they run their ship...given that what they produce is something I enjoy. Those in the UK...will know that Amazon get accused of loads of stuff (tax avoidance and running their distribution staff ragged)....but do I care given that I love the service I get from them? That said, if Darabont is due what
While I don't think TWD is anywhere near my list of the top shows I've have ever seen...I still enjoy it. As with Marvel, I'm not too bothered that they're reportedly pretty cheap/tight in how they run their ship...given that what they produce is something I enjoy. Those in the UK...will know that Amazon get accused of loads of stuff (tax avoidance and running their distribution staff ragged)....but do I care given that I love the service I get from them? That said, if Darabont is due what he claims to be due...he has every right to go after what he's entitled to.
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12:50PM on 12/18/2013
Good for Darabont. Completely side with him over this. Regardless of how AMC chooses to operate and budget for their TV shows, they are certainly making a profit off the show otherwise they wouldn't be airing it 4 years later. And judging by how many commercial break there are in one episode, I would say ad revenue for the show is way up!

I enjoy the show a lot, but I think AMC has been cheap in how they approach the production. So hopefully Darabont gets the chance to stick it to them
Good for Darabont. Completely side with him over this. Regardless of how AMC chooses to operate and budget for their TV shows, they are certainly making a profit off the show otherwise they wouldn't be airing it 4 years later. And judging by how many commercial break there are in one episode, I would say ad revenue for the show is way up!

I enjoy the show a lot, but I think AMC has been cheap in how they approach the production. So hopefully Darabont gets the chance to stick it to them and receive a fat pay check and on-going royalties for the show.
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11:13AM on 12/18/2013

Kirkman

Kirkman is a major idiot.
Kirkman is a major idiot.
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7:43AM on 12/18/2013
Brayden. if you think Norma`s remark is amazing... last tuesday I got a great Mazda after making $8071 this-last/5 weeks and-over, ten-k this past-month. it's actualy the best-work Ive ever done. I started this nine months/ago and pretty much immediately began to earn over $86... per-hr. this link http://www.jobs64.com
Brayden. if you think Norma`s remark is amazing... last tuesday I got a great Mazda after making $8071 this-last/5 weeks and-over, ten-k this past-month. it's actualy the best-work Ive ever done. I started this nine months/ago and pretty much immediately began to earn over $86... per-hr. this link http://www.jobs64.com
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6:56AM on 12/18/2013

Frank vs. the greedy bastards at AMC

i've always been in Franks corner on this. The man had the tenacity to pool all of his cinematic knowledge and resources into giving the world a show that rivaled that which could be mustered on the big screen. Then, unceremoniously told to take a hike. WTF... He was burnt, rightly angry, and waited. Now it's time for Frank to show those who now control one of the richest properties on T.V. to pony up. He Earned it.
i've always been in Franks corner on this. The man had the tenacity to pool all of his cinematic knowledge and resources into giving the world a show that rivaled that which could be mustered on the big screen. Then, unceremoniously told to take a hike. WTF... He was burnt, rightly angry, and waited. Now it's time for Frank to show those who now control one of the richest properties on T.V. to pony up. He Earned it.
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12:40AM on 12/18/2013
Hey, AMC, it sucks when you try to cut corners. They give Kirkman way too much power, who has no idea what to do in the TV realm but they save money by not paying him what he's really due, but he doesn't know any better because it pays a hell of a lot more than the comic. Karma's sucks. Though, for Darabont, the spin off? Let's not get greedy....I read the Indy 4 script...
Hey, AMC, it sucks when you try to cut corners. They give Kirkman way too much power, who has no idea what to do in the TV realm but they save money by not paying him what he's really due, but he doesn't know any better because it pays a hell of a lot more than the comic. Karma's sucks. Though, for Darabont, the spin off? Let's not get greedy....I read the Indy 4 script...
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7:17AM on 12/18/2013
I heard that there was a lot of interference from Lucas his writing of the script. I definitely know that Darabont was pissed with Lucas.

[link]
I heard that there was a lot of interference from Lucas his writing of the script. I definitely know that Darabont was pissed with Lucas.

[link]
+0
11:22PM on 12/17/2013
I hope he gets it. I love AMC's shows, but they have let their success go to their head. He deserves what he's owed and they should just pay up. It is kind of sad to see this happen. He created such a wonderful thing which has now been soiled by the way the network has treated him. A sad thing to see.
I hope he gets it. I love AMC's shows, but they have let their success go to their head. He deserves what he's owed and they should just pay up. It is kind of sad to see this happen. He created such a wonderful thing which has now been soiled by the way the network has treated him. A sad thing to see.
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10:30PM on 12/17/2013
I hope he gets the money he deserves, but I REALLY hope this doesn't end the show. They should just apologize to him and hire him back. That would be awesome.
I hope he gets the money he deserves, but I REALLY hope this doesn't end the show. They should just apologize to him and hire him back. That would be awesome.
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9:46PM on 12/17/2013

Good for him!

For someone who has brought us such masterpieces, I think he at least deserves to get paid for his work. Good Lord...
For someone who has brought us such masterpieces, I think he at least deserves to get paid for his work. Good Lord...
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7:33PM on 12/17/2013
Many considered the first season 'slow,' but it set the stage for a great show. Hopefully they will settle out of court so Darabont is not caught up in years of legal action.
Many considered the first season 'slow,' but it set the stage for a great show. Hopefully they will settle out of court so Darabont is not caught up in years of legal action.
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6:27PM on 12/17/2013
I hope he'll win.
I hope he'll win.
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6:19PM on 12/17/2013
He was essentially kicked off the show he helped create so some douchebag at the network could take credit for it's huge success. Happens all the time.
He was essentially kicked off the show he helped create so some douchebag at the network could take credit for it's huge success. Happens all the time.
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5:46PM on 12/17/2013

Hell yeah!

While some people may see this as Frank being greedy I really don't think money is the driving factor here. In all of his interviews since being fired its clear that he felt wronged. This man helped make the show so popular in the beginning and then was just kicked to the side. Frank's passion is what drove the show. This was clear in every decision he made for example the casting. One of the reasons the show clicked so well was the amazing cast he assembled, most of which I doubt AMC would
While some people may see this as Frank being greedy I really don't think money is the driving factor here. In all of his interviews since being fired its clear that he felt wronged. This man helped make the show so popular in the beginning and then was just kicked to the side. Frank's passion is what drove the show. This was clear in every decision he made for example the casting. One of the reasons the show clicked so well was the amazing cast he assembled, most of which I doubt AMC would have considered if not for Franks say. Hell since he's left two of his regulars(Dale and Andrea) have been written out of the show. I know for a fact the actor who played Dale was good pals with Darabont and wanted out after he got canned. Its clear that the actors loved working with Frank hence why Shane is now on Mob City. Everyone had nothing but nice things to say about Frank but what about the 3 show runners since? I've heard nothing about them except for random comments on the Talking Dead. Did anyone else feel Scott Wilson who played Hershel sounded alittle bitter about being killed off? He didn't have anything nice to really say about the current show runner.

However this whole thing turns out I think that it's painfully clear that when Frank Darabont left the show something left with him. The show lost it's heart and the spark that kept it going. In my opinion it's been on a steady decline since then and there appears to be no hope in saving it.
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5:05PM on 12/17/2013

Sex Frank? Err No maybe later

Well the Pilot episode is still the best. And if he is responsible for bringing it to the screen then give him what he is owed.
Well the Pilot episode is still the best. And if he is responsible for bringing it to the screen then give him what he is owed.
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4:35PM on 12/17/2013

Give 'em hell, Frank

Apparently, the dude's insane but he does deliver great stories. He's a major reason why THE WALKING DEAD is a hit and he deserves his share of the profits.
Apparently, the dude's insane but he does deliver great stories. He's a major reason why THE WALKING DEAD is a hit and he deserves his share of the profits.
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+5
4:33PM on 12/17/2013
CARL?
CARL!
CARRRRRRRRRRRL!!!
CARL?
CARL!
CARRRRRRRRRRRL!!!
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5:01PM on 12/17/2013
CORAL?
CORAL!!
CORAL?
CORAL!!
4:33PM on 12/17/2013

He's in the right

hope he gets whats owed, also wish he was still running the show.
hope he gets whats owed, also wish he was still running the show.
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4:30PM on 12/17/2013
I didn't fully understand the legal details at deadline. Anyone care to explain?
I didn't fully understand the legal details at deadline. Anyone care to explain?
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4:04PM on 12/17/2013

Good for him!

I just don't get why he waited so long to finally take action on this.
I just don't get why he waited so long to finally take action on this.
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3:57PM on 12/17/2013
Well I hope he wins
Well I hope he wins
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3:48PM on 12/17/2013
Good for Darabont, he should have done this long ago.
Good for Darabont, he should have done this long ago.
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4:13PM on 12/17/2013
Any legal advice, Mr. Loblaw? Or should we check out your law blog?
Any legal advice, Mr. Loblaw? Or should we check out your law blog?
+27
3:45PM on 12/17/2013
AMC, you should have never let Frank go!
AMC, you should have never let Frank go!
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3:17PM on 12/17/2013
Love the Walking Dead, the direction they took & love Frank Darabont. AMC is the guilty culprit here.
Love the Walking Dead, the direction they took & love Frank Darabont. AMC is the guilty culprit here.
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