'The Walking Dead' Shocker: Show Creator Frank Darabont Calls it Quits
The latest casualty on AMC's smash hit "The Walking Dead" surprisingly isn't zombie-related. It's behind-the-scenes instead. Showrunner and executive producer Frank Darabont has stepped down from his duties leading the zombie pack, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Looks like producers will soon be picking their brainnnnnssss for a way to replace him. Sorry. We all knew that pun had to happen eventually.
This isn't the first time AMC's ratings blessed gore-fest had stumbled into creative trouble. Darabont responded to criticism about the show's sometimes weak writing by firing the first season writing staff last December. Then he toyed with the idea of replacing them with freelance writers, before finally settling down with a more traditional writer's room.
What is especially puzzling about this departure is the timing of it. This exit is just days after Darabont and the rest of his creative zombie team shuffled onstage at San Diego's Comic-Con to talk about the show's second season. At the panel last Friday, Darabont seemed excited about the show and the direction for the next season. They even premiered a gore-splattered trailer to the pumped audience.
See that awesome spectacle here:
Certainly, it's never good when a showrunner walks in the middle of production. It's even stranger considering Darabont spent five years trying to bring the zombie graphic novel to the small screen. While he might stay on with the show in some capacity, it seems certain that it will be with someone else at the helm of the SS Zombie.
Who's on deck to replace him? (Yes, I realize the puns have gone from zombie to nautical. No, I have no idea why.) The most likely candidate might be former "The Shield" alum Glen Mazzara, who was brought on as Darabont's second-in-command and fellow executive producer.
Even with all the backstage drama, the show continues with production in preparation for its October 16th premiere.
What do you think of Darabont's departure? Will the show be the same without him?