AMC's flagship zombie series, The Walking Dead, can't seem to catch a break lately. Between losing many of the series' biggest stars and a complete showrunner shake-up, the network has been battling original showrunner, Frank Darabont, for years. They are still caught up in a bitter $300 million lawsuit with the former The Walking Dead producer.
Darabont has been litigating against AMC for the past few years, attempting to recoup millions of dollars he claims the network should have paid him but didn't. Darabont, who developed the series for television and acted as showrunner through season 1 and halfway through season 2, has accused AMC of pocketing all tax credits earned from the show. The former producer's case has been a bitter and angry one, however. Scandalous emails written by Darabont, verbally abusing and attacking the crew and execustives at AMC were released, putting a violent cloud over his fight for a share of the profits.
According to Deadline, the two longtime foes are still battling in court today. AMC has now filed to have the case overseen by a jury, claiming that Frank Darabont had confused the issue with his allegedly many different "legal positions" and "ever-changing facts." AMC claims that this made any rulings in Darabont's favor "inappropriate." Darabont's legal team issued a response, saying that AMC's filing directly went against the judge's order. The legal team accused AMC of "flouting" the court, to which Darabont's lawyers further accused AMC's filing of rehashing the network's "frivolous arguments."
Despite Frank Darabont's documented behavior, he did have some points on his side throughout this legal battle. Dale actor Jeffrey DeMunn asked for his character to be written out of the show when Darabont was fired as showrunner. Along with Darabont, series creator Robert Kirkman and several other former showrunners have filed a separate lawsuit against AMC also claiming the same profit theft.
The rough patch for The Walking Dead doesn't end there, however. A massive shake-up has hit the show's showrunners, moving writer Angela Kang up to the position as Scott Gimple has taken on a more all-around role with AMC. Ratings have been dropping for years, with an even bigger dip following the early demise of Carl Grimes. And most recently, news of Andrew Lincoln's imminent departure has shaken the show's fan base. Lauren Cohan's future on the show is also not set in stone, as she has a temporary contract that will bring her through only six of season 9's first eight episodes. AMC is allegedly offering Daryl Dixon actor Norman Reedus a raise to attempt to put him in the leading role.