“The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and several of the show’s producers including Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert have filed suit against AMC over the blockbuster zombie series.
As we know, the show’s co-creator and former showrunner Frank Darabont was fired as executive producer in the middle of the second season and is demanding $280 million in an accounting lawsuit that has reached the summary judgment phase.
Now, the other key creatives on the series are following in his footsteps with their own lawsuit in what could be the largest profits case in television history with potential damages reaching as high as $1 billion. AMC now finds itself in court against those whose ongoing involvement is crucial to not just the show but potentially the network’s future.
The claims of the complaint, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, are breach of contract, tortious interference and unfair or fraudulent business acts under California business code. It includes:
“Failure to honor its [AMC’s] contractual obligations to the creative people… the defendant AMC Entities exploited their vertically integrated corporate structure to combine both the production and the exhibition of TWD, which allowed AMC to keep the lion’s share of the series’ enormous profits for itself and not share it with the Plaintiffs, as required by their contracts.”
In response to the newest lawsuit, an AMC spokesperson has issued a statement:
“These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common — they follow success. Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and The Walking Dead has been the No. 1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit.”
We’ll get a better idea of how much of a mess this really turns out to be when the hearing in the Darabont case takes place in New York City on August 24th.