Nearly six years after it was filed, the $300 million lawsuit between fired The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont against AMC over unpaid profits from TV show is finally going to trial, albeit in a year's time.
The newly installed New York Supreme Court judge, Justice Joel Cohen, declared that the parties should officially prepare for a trial to commence May 11, 2020.
Cohen takes over the case from the now-retired Justice Eileen Bransten, who sent the case to trial last December. He told lawyers for both sides at a hearing Tuesday that he expects the trial to last about a month, with jury selection to start May 4 next year.
The new presiding judge also revealed he's adding the other suit that Darabont and creative agency CAA launched against AMC in early 2018 on top of the initial 2013 action. This additional lawsuit saw Darabont's team claiming the fees he's owed needs to be more because his lawyers discovered Darabont's profit calculation was based on an "imputed" fee, as opposed to the comic's co-creator Robert Kirkman, who, in his own lawsuit, had a profit calculation based on AMC's "actual" distribution fee.
Both sides, of course, expressed optimism for their respective teams in the trial to come. "We are thrilled that Justice Cohen set a trial date, and we look forward to trying both the original self dealing case and additional audit claims before a jury," said Chad Fitzgerald of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, the lawyers for Darabont and CAA.
"We look forward to our day in court and proving that this case is nothing more than a money grab by CAA and a gang of Hollywood lawyers who have already been paid millions and millions of dollars for their participation in The Walking Dead," AMC's attorney Orin Snyder contended.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The series returns for the second half of Season 9 on February 10.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)