AMC has never gone into detail about how or why Frank Darabont was fired from The Walking Dead at the beginning of season two, after bringing the zombie show to the network. But now they may have to pay for the decision. They may have to pay quite a bit indeed.
Frank Darabont is suing AMC for “tens of millions” in damages, alleging that he was royally screwed out of a cut of the profits from the massively popular show. THR reports:
“Court papers assert that Darabont and his agents at CAA, which also is a plaintiff in the suit, have not received even one dollar from his promised profit participation in the mega-hit series. The suit says that as of September 2012, two years after its premiere, AMC — which both produces and airs Walking Dead — claimed the show was running a deficit of $49 million. An alleged sweetheart deal between the network and its production arm “is clearly designed to ensure that [Darabont and CAA] never see that first dollar,” the complaint alleges.”
What allegedly happened is that Darabont agreed to take a cut of the profits from the show, but AMC kept saying that the show costs more than it makes, which means Darabont has never, ever gotten paid. By keeping costs artificially high and profits low, they never have to pay him. It seems like he certainly has a moral case here, though whether he has a legal one remains to be seen.
AMC has done some very, very questionable things over the years, and chewing through Walking Dead showrunners is no exception. But if what Darabont alleges is true, this goes beyond a simple firing, and he is entitled to a piece of the show he helped create.
[Photo via Gene Page/AMC]