A writer has filed a lawsuit against against AMC, Robert Kirkman and other producers of Fear the Walking Dead, alleging the second season of the television drama infringes on the copyright of his comic book series Dead Ahead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mel Smith filed the complaint Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco.
Published in 2008 by Image Comics, Dead Ahead follows a group of survivors whose ocean fishing trip turns into a nightmare when a plague sweeps across the continents, turning humanity into living corpses. With provisions low, the castaways are forced to fend for himself, until a luxury liner appears on the horizon, offering the promise of rescue. But while the ship carries all the supplies they might need, it also brings with it the mystery of what happened to the passengers and crew.
In the second season of Fear the Walking Dead, the main characters left dry land amid a zombie outbreak for the open sea.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Smith's lawsuit contains an additional wrinkle in that Fear the Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert is listed as a co-defendant, and faces a separate claim of breach of fiduciary duty. Kirkman's business partner and CEO of Skybound Entertainment, Alpert allegedly was also Smith's agent, through Circle of Confusion, at the time of Dead Ahead's publication. Both Smith's Dead Ahead and Kirkman's The Walking Dead were released by Image Comics.
Fear the Walking Dead returns Aug. 12 to AMC to finish its fourth season.