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.