Frank Darabont Walks Away from The Walking Dead

With the second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead set to premiere in October, a surprising announcement is expected to surface shortly: Frank Darabont is stepping down as showrunner and leaving the series behind. This news comes just days after speaking on a panel at Comic-Con where he assured fans that they had a lot of great stuff to look forward to next season. No reason has been given for the departure as of yet, but it is believed that he has some big screen projects that he wants to give his attention to, and also that he hasn’t fully adjusted to the “daily grind” of television. Executive producer Glen Mazzara (The Shield) seems to be the likeliest candidate to take over for him.

Last year Darabont made a bold decision to fire all of the show’s writers and farm out the scripts to freelancers for the next season. However, apparently things never played out the way that he intended, and he was eventually convinced to hire a full writing staff again. Could this have been one of the reasons behind his decision to leave?

At the very least, we can probably assume that his influence will still be felt through much of season 2, and there is still a possibility that he will stay involved in a minor capacity. But it’s difficult to put a positive spin on this news as I think the pilot episode that Darabont directed was easily the strongest episode of the first season. What do you think, is this a bad sign for The Walking Dead or will it continue to be successful without Darabont’s involvement? Are you excited to see him return to feature films? Season 2 premieres on October 16th; check out a trailer below.

  • Fatbologna

    As far as I know, Kirkman worked as head writer for season 2 and is still head writer so that’s all that really matters in my mind. It’s the only reason I’m still giving the show a chance after the lackluster second half of season 1.

  • Darksiders

    correction: pilot episode was easily the “cheesiest” of all the episodes. Darabont brought his overly sappy and sentimental perspective to TWD that I will gladly not miss. And if Kirkman worked as head writer for Season 2 and FD is gone we will get a much better season this go around.

  • Mike F

    A landmark show like this needs a strong leader who is committed to a unique vision and an uncompromsing, rigorous set of standards. Call it the “Steve Jobs” approach. Otherwise, we get management by committee followed inevitably by mediocrity. IMHO, this is not good news.

  • AMC is cutting budgets – we will see this great series die before our eyes…then maybe it will rise again when they see their mistake (get it!)

  • Nuno

    I seem to feel differently in that I can’t tolerate Kirkman’s writing at all and if he takes over the writing chores (after contributing one badly written episode in Season 1), then I’m out. I don’t see TWD having much life left in it.

  • Justice

    Yeah, I imagine the budget cuts along with offers for major movies pulled Darabont away. It sucks but it’d be a bit naive to think a man of his demand would stick around to showrun a network tv show for years. I would actually rather Kirkland took a step back, I don’t want to see the comic book put up panel for panel. What works on a page doesn’t necessarily work on the screen.

  • Well, it seems Glen Mazzara is taking over the show.

    This guy was behind one of the most brilliant cop shows ever made, The Shield.

    I think The Walking Dead is in good hands.

  • fatbologna

    That’s what I was thinking too. The Shield was aces.