In what has to be pretty shocking news, especially considering he was just at Comic-Con last week to do publicity for the show, Frank Darabont has reportedly stepped down from his role as showrunner of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
According to the report, it is unclear if Darabont will end up staying with the show in some other capacity or will be off the show completely. It is also unclear at this time if recent hire and The Shield alumni Glen Mazzarra will take over as showrunner on the show, which is currently filming its second season.
If you recall, Darabont wrote and directed the pilot for AMC’s breakout zombie apocalypse hit and served as Exec. Producer and showrunner for the show’s first season and into the second.
If this turns out to be true and Darabont leaves the show completely, it isn’t that hard to understand why. Darabont is a feature film writer, director and producer. That’s a world where you often have months, if not years, to craft a screenplay, cast, shoot, edit and deliver a finished product.
Series television is a grind. Turning out work day in and day out and moving so quickly is not something that’s for everyone. Having worked in TV and features I can tell you the pacing of producing a weekly TV series can be killer. Maybe he just got tired? Or, tired of having to compromise so much?
Not only that he doesn’t really need to stay on and control every aspect of the show now. It’s on its feet and off in a great direction. Maybe it’s time he handed the reins over to someone else more experienced with the day to day of running a series?
I doubt it will hurt the show that much at this point. Sorry Frank. Plus, he can always be consulted or stay on in another capacity, just to keep a hand in.
Whatever happens, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as it develops.