Fans of the hit AMC television adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead were surprised to hear showrunner Frank Darabont would be exiting the series. Apparently, so were the cast and crew.
The Hollywood Reporter gathered this information from an insider on the show, writing:
“In hot, sticky Atlanta, where production on the second season had been under way since June, the cast was summoned to a lunch meeting with AMC vp scripted programming Ben Davis, who confirmed that Darabont was out. The crew was briefed separately. One insider says those gathered were stunned at “the duplicity of AMC” for having used Darabont to promote the show at Comic-Con before firing him. And they were angry about the lack of explanation; they were simply told, cryptically, “This isn’t working.” Above all, they were disheartened. “It’s a crushing blow,” says the insider. “Even when you have a hit, they can still destroy you.”
Yikes. “Insiders” always seem to dramatize any situation under the condition of anonymity but it seems at least that the firing of Darabont was an unpopular decision all around. THR reports that Darabont returned to Los Angeles after the news to finish some notes and send out cordial goodbye emails but that he and his representatives are maintaining a “steady silence” on the topic.
“There also have been no public comments from the cast,” writes THR, “and a source with knowledge of the situation says AMC has been ‘terrorizing’ them and their representatives to discourage them from speaking out on Darabont’s behalf. ‘They’re scared,’ confirms another insider. ‘They’re on a zombie show. They are all really easy to kill off.’”
Again, very dramatic but whatever the case, not even AMC is opening up about the decision. “AMC issued a statement after Darabont was dismissed, expressing gratitude for his ‘innumerable’ contributions to the show,” writes THR. “Asked to comment on criticism for the handling of his departure, a spokesperson said, ‘We have nothing further to add.’”
However, it has previously been reported that Glen Mazzara, Darabont’s former second-in-command, will be taking over as showrunner of The Walking Dead. Season 2 is currently in production.