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The Walking Dead: Sarah Wayne Callies Says the Firing of Show’s Creator was Like ‘An Assassination’

”Nobody writes like Frank Darabont,“ the actress, Sarah Wayne Callies, said of the The Walking Dead‘s first showrunner and television show creator, Frank Darabont, on Jon Bernthal’s podcast.

Sarah Wayne Callies, who starred on AMC’s The Walking Dead as Lori Grimes over its first three seasons, remembered showrunner Frank Darabont’s departure from the hit series as an “assassination.”

The Walking Dead: Sarah Wayne Callies Says the Firing of Show's Creator was Like ‘An Assassination’
Gene Page/AMC

Darabont was fired from The Walking Dead during Season 2. This happened while the show was becoming very popular and watched by a lot of people. In response, Darabont and his agency CAA filed a lot of lawsuits against AMC beginning in 2013. The two sides reached a $200 million settlement in 2021.

“To me, it just felt like an assassination,” Callies said of Darabont’s firing during a recent appearance on TWD co-star Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast. “The reasons that we were given were that he’s unexperienced as a showrunner and he’s unprepared and he doesn’t know what he’s doing. But this motherf—er, one month before we started shooting Season 2, dropped six completed scripts in my lap and said, ‘You can learn these lines. They’re not going to change.’ And they were wonderful.”


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Darabont, the writer and producer of movies like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, was fired from the TV series The Walking Dead during Season 2. He sued AMC in 2013, claiming he was owed money from the show. In 2018, he filed another suit against AMC, saying that an audit had found even more money owed to him.

Regardless of the real-life legal drama, Callies felt Darabont’s exit was a missed opportunity for the network and the show.

“This might be a controversial thing to say – you cannot beat his writing,” she said. “You can’t. And there are some really good people who’ve been writing on that show since, and I got a lot of love and respect for them. Nobody writes like Frank Darabont. That’s a whole different level.”

The Walking Dead returns for its finale season on October 2, 2022.

NEXT UP: Frank Darabont Wins $200 in Lawsuit against AMC over The Walking Dead

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