It seems, with the ongoing court battle between AMC and its initial showrunner for The Walking Dead, Frank Darabont now has his sights set firmly on also receiving payment for the companion series, Fear The Walking Dead. The dispute alleging unpaid fees has been running for two years already with Darabont claiming AMC also “summarily fired Darabont without cause, without notice, without explanation, and without any opportunity to cure.”
Deadline has released the actual legal paperwork (which you can read in full here) in which AMC defends against Frank Darabont’s claim over The Walking Dead. However, it seems the paperwork has now been amended to include the companion series to The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead.
Frank Darabont was the showrunner for The Walking Dead during season 1 and in the interim between season 1 and 2, so would have, most likely, worked on upcoming episodes from season 2. During his time with AMC, he not only acted as executive producer but helped develop The Walking Dead from the comic book series it was based on. Originally The Walking Dead was pitched to NBC by Darabont but was later picked up by AMC.
In July of 2011, Frank Darabont was fired by AMC. Wikipedia states it was originally claimed this was a result of him not able to adjust to life on a television series schedule, but it was later cited that he was cut due to budget cuts as well as a “strained relationship with the executives of AMC.”
Since then, two showrunners have worked on The Walking Dead. Glen Mazzara joined as showrunner after Frank was fired, and then later resigned in 2012, issuing the following joint statement with AMC.
“Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer… AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.”
Scott M. Gimple then took the helm in 2013 and has remained with The Walking Dead up to this point in time.
While it seems AMC has a hard time retaining showrunners for The Walking Dead, it appears this trend is across the board of AMC programs with one agent telling Deadline that “AMC is a tough place.” However, Frank Darabont seems to be the only one willing to take AMC to court over the matter.
All along during this legal dispute, Frank Darabont has claimed he has issues with “unpaid fees, gross receipts, intentionally low license fees, owed credits and more” according to Deadline. Now, with an amended lawsuit, Darabont is claiming he is “due 100% of his ‘Developed By Profits and EP/Showrunner Profits'” as well as payments for the “derivative production” of Fear The Walking Dead. If the courts decide Frank is right in regards to Fear The Walking Dead being a derivative of The Walking Dead, then, yes, Frank could allegedly be owed a huge amount of cash as a result of this.
The case is still ongoing and, according to Deadline, “Marc Kasowitz, Aaron Marks, John Berlinski and Mansi Shah of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP’s NYC and LA offices represent AMC in this matter. Jerry Bernstein and Harris Cogan of NYC firm Blank Rome LLP along with Kinsella, Chad Fitzgerald and Aaron Liskin of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP represent Darabont and CAA.”
What do you think about this lawsuit against AMC? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by commenting below.
[Image credit: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown / Stringer]