The Walking Dead: Creator Robert Kirkman, Fellow Producers Handed $100 Million+ Loss by Judge
Published on April 7th, 2022 | Updated on April 7th, 2022 | By FanFest
A judge on Wednesday decided that several producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead were not defrauded out of money by AMC Networks, bringing the long-running dispute over the popular series to a conclusion.
The producers’ argument that AMC Networks had reverse-engineered the definition of “profits” in their contracts to keep most of the show’s proceeds for itself was rejected by Judge Daniel J. Buckley.
The producers — Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Charles Eglee and Glen Mazzara — first filed suit in 2017, four years after the show’s creator Frank Darabont — who was fired after the first season — filed a similar claim against AMC.
Last July, Darabont and CAA, his management company, reached a $200 million settlement in their lawsuit.
In a case in Los Angeles, the cable network has fought back against Kirkman — the creator of The Walking Dead comic series — and the other producers. After a “mini-trial” focusing on the correct definition of “modified adjusted gross receipts,” or MAGR, in July 2020, Buckley ruled in favor of AMC.
In May 2021, the producers filed a new lawsuit, arguing that — even if the conditions were clear — AMC had committed a breach of the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” by creating a bad-faith definition of MAGR after the success of The Walking Dead was apparent.
Wednesday, Buckley noted that the producers’ own expert evidence showed that the MAGR definition was not unusual and was not malevolently constructed to deny plaintiffs their rights.
“Much of Plaintiffs’ argument related to the implied covenant claim is based upon the unsupported assumption that a benefit of their bargain was a positive MAGR, always resulting in contingent compensation, for each year,” Buckley wrote. “Plaintiffs do not cite any contractual language supporting this assumption and Plaintiffs agreed to be bound by Defendants’ MAGR term.”
The plaintiffs have indicated their intention to appeal the decision and may pursue accounting claims at a later date.
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