Frank Darabont, writer and director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, served as showrunner for AMC’s The Walking Dead in its first season, and worked in the years before its 2010 debut to develop the series for television. He abruptly left the hit drama during production of its second season, with reports later surfacing that he was fired due to issues involving budgetary concerns and an inability to adapt to the quicker pace of TV. Darabont’s recent comments to Variety make it even clearer that it wasn’t an amicable parting.
“Oh, God no, why would I,” Darabont replied when asked if he still watched the adaptation of the Image Comics series. “If the woman you loved with all your heart left you for the Pilates instructor and just sent you an invitation to the wedding, would you go?”
After Darabont’s July 2011 exit, AMC released a statement saying his “contributions to the success of The Walking Dead are innumerable,” and the network would “continue to discuss his ongoing role with the series.”
“There’s a deep commitment and emotional investment that happens when you create something that is very near and dear to you, and when that is torn asunder by sociopaths who don’t give a shit about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew because they have their own reasons to screw everybody, that doesn’t feel good,” Darabont continued in an interview timed to his upcoming TNT series Mob City. Debuting Dec. 4, the period crime drama features Walking Dead alums Jon Bernthal and Jeffrey DeMunn.
Darabont was succeeded as showrunner by Glen Mazzara, who left the series following Season 3. Scott M. Gimple serves as the current showrunner.