Frank Darabont cannot catch a break on the small screen.
|—||Frank Darabont Rips ‘Sociopaths’ Who Fired Him From ‘Walking Dead’ | Variety|
Poster: Frank Darabont and TNT’s ‘Mob City' | EW
By legendary poster artist Drew Struzan.
Key Art: Frank Darabont & TNT’s ‘Mob City' | Film Thrasher
He talks about his new TNT show through the link as well.
Kurt Sutter, creator of Sons of Anarchy, has some interesting theories about AMC and the financial firestorm that has put their three best shows not only at odds but in jeopardy. (Read from the bottom up).
While I wouldn’t put it as harshly, Mad Men's budget demands do seem to have repercussions on the negotiations and issues at Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. I wouldn’t blame Weiner, because Mad Men is that good and deserves the right budget for its creative freedom, but it’s a shame that it comes at the expense of the others.
The question then is, does AMC have enough money to sustain the level of quality it’s set for itself?
I hear The Walking Dead writer/ executive producer/ director Frank Darabont has let go of the writers on the hot freshman AMC series, which has already renewed for a second season. That includes Darabont’s No.2, writing executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee. Writer turnover on series between seasons is commonplace but wholesale overhauls are unusual. What’s more, I hear Darabont is looking to forgo having a writing staff for the second season ofWalking Dead altogether and assign scripts to freelancers. Darabont, who hails from the feature world with The Young Indiana Jones as the only series credit before Walking Dead, ended up writing 2 of the first season’s 6 episodes ofWalking Dead - the pilot and the second episode - and co-writing/rewriting the other 4. Two of those 4 were written by non-staff writers, one by executive producer Robert Kirkman, on whose comics the series is based, and one by Glen Mazzara. The freelance model is employed by the Starz/BBC series Tourchwood, which in turn borrowed it from the U.K. where the show originated. Having BBC as producer has allowed Torchwood to proceed with no writing staff but I hear such a plan on an U.S.-based series such as Walking Dead may face issues with the Writers Guild. And, while the first season of Walking Dead was only 6 episodes, its second-season order is for 13, which may prove harder to manage in pre-production, production and post-production with no writing staff. Sources tell me that no final decision has been made yet with all options open, including using some combination of a writing staff/freelances. There is time - AMC is mulling launching Walking Dead's second season the way it did the first one - in October during Fearfest.
I let out an audible “whoa” in response to this. That rarely happens.
|—||Frank Darabont, The Walking Dead Creator on the Zombie Show Too Gruesome for Major Networks | Vulture|
17 Minute Behind the Scenes Featurette on AMC’s The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead Panel
L-R: Robert Kirkman (comic creator), Gale Anne Hurd (Exec producer), Frank Darabont (director), Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Sarah Callies (Lori), Jon Bernthal (Shane), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Stephen Yeun (Glenn), Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon).
AMC presents its newest groundbreaking series The Walking Dead on October 31st. Based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, it tells the story of Rick Grimes, a fallen cop who wakes up from a coma during the zombie apocalypse. It marks the first time zombies have ever been featured on a TV series.
Footage: 2 clips and a trailers were shown totaling in about 10 minutes of footage. The first was an action packed scene from the second episode featuring Grimes escaping from a tank and running for his life from walkers. The second was more talk, drama heavy featuring a group of survivors communicating with others via radio and trying to decide whether they would venture to the city to help them.
The clips featured a winning blend of campy comic book sensibility (dialogue and action) with the heavy dramatics of AMC serials. There was a bit of impressive crane cinematography and a helpful dose of startling violence and wild west influence.
Info/Exclusives: Darabont and crew made this a TV series because it was a new approach to zombies. The source material lends itself well to a series as well. When asked if it was a hard sell to AMC Hurd shared that it wasn’t and she was surprised to hear they were already fans of the original comic. it was greenlit for 6 episodes off the bat. The network is incredibly supportive, much praise was thrown their way.
The show will deviate from the source material. Reedus (The Boondock Saints) for example plays Daryl Dixon an excon badass trying to find his loyalties, a character that’s not in the graphic novel. Darabont promised that the show will expand the universe while staying faithful at the same time. On a similar note, Kirkman wrote the fourth episode and relished the fact of writing for a new medium and getting to revisit old characters.
All of the zombies are done with make up. The show shoots on 16mm to give it that authentic zombie movie feel. “This is a zombie series. It should look like one.” -Hurd.
On zombies vs vampires, Darabont expressed being worn down by vampires, “they’re too sexy.” He also reminded the audience that this show will bring him back to prison. Kirkman teased that Darabont didn’t really like the comic he just wanted to use it as an excuse to shoot in prison again.
Regarding standards and practices and what they can get away with Darabont said you’d be surprised and that “We’re going to make [Breaking Bad] look like pussies.”
Odds and ends: Darabont once had dinner with Stephen King, George Romero and Quentin Tarantino.
The Walking Dead premieres Oct 31 on AMC, the first episode is an hour and half. Thanks to Fox International the show will also air in 120 countries worldwide shortly thereafter.
AMC has picked up zombie apocalypse drama ”The Walking Dead” for six episodes.
"Dead" is based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels and the project will be written and directed by Frank Darabont ("Shawshank Redemption"). The series is will premiere in October 2010 on AMC.