Frank Darabont is suing AMC over profit sharing for The Walking Dead, a smash hit he created for the network, reveals The Hollywood Reporter. The suit, filed Tuesday, December 17th in the New York State Supreme Court, alleges breach of contract on the part of AMC to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid fees.
Fans have known of the battle between Darabont and AMC since AMC replaced Darabont as producer and showrunner for unspecified reasons in 2011, as we had covered here in a previous posting. Darabont, according to the lawsuit believes his firing was a direct result of a scheme to avoid paying him his contractual percentage of the show’s profits. The deal he originally made with AMC supposedly would have given him up to 12.5% of an unaffiliated producer’s profits minus some industry-standard deductions.
The complaint also describes Darabont’s firing shortly before Season 2 aired and less than 48 hours after he appeared at Comic-Con to promote the show in 2011. It says that Darabont asked for but was never given any actual explanation for his termination and replacement by Glen Mazzara, whom he himself had hired to be his second-in-command. He alleges that he was dismissed so AMC would not have to fulfill its obligation to pay him fees for Season 2 or negotiate with him for Season 3.
The suit is very complex and complicated, and it will be interesting to see how AMC responds to this. Darbont’s lead lawyer Dale Kinsella told The Hollywood Reporter that, “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.” And after half of Season 4 and the show moving onto its third showrunner in four years, I think I agree.
Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter