Frank Darabont was fired from The Walking Dead nine years ago by AMC. Darabont and AMC are expected to go to trial next June in New York to determine whether AMC Networks owes him for unpaid profit participation from the hit zombie-drama.
AMC moved to have some of of Darabont claims dismissed. Darabont has sued AMC twice in 2013 and in 2018.
In 2018, Darabont alleged that AMC breached the “most favored nation” clause in his contract, with respect to how profits are calculated.
In 2013, Darabont sought $280 million for dispute over calculation of a license fee.
AMC filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that Darabont’s 2018 claims are baseless and his profits were correctly calculated in accordance with the terms of his contract. A hearing is set for March 18.
“This Court should rule that the parties’ contract is clear and unambiguous and grant summary judgment to Defendants on both claims,” AMC’s attorneys wrote.
In a statement to Variety, AMC’s attorney, Orin Snyder, highlighted the role of CAA — Darabont’s co-plaintiff — in pushing the cases.
“These lawsuits shine a spotlight on how CAA puts its own financial interest above the financial interest of its clients,” Snyder said. “By now, we all know that CAA and Darabont filed this lawsuit to rewrite their contracts only after The Walking Dead became a huge commercial success. Today’s motion shows that this lawsuit is just another CAA money grab that should be thrown out of court.”
A Motion for Summary Judgment would preclude Darabont and CAA from proceeding with the second suit. However, if its unsuccessful, the second suit would joint the first one in trial in the summer of 2020.
AMC has been hit with lawsuits from Darabont, but also other executives from The Walking Dead have filed suit against the network. In August, 2017, Creator of The Walking Dead Robert Kirkman, as well as producers Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert filed a huge lawsuit at Los Angeles Superior Court.
The group said that, “This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate’s failure to honor its contractual obligations to the creative people — the ‘talent,’ in industry jargon — behind the wildly successful, and hugely profitable, long-running television series The Walking Dead.”
It is stated in each of the creators’ contracts what percentage they are owed from the profits, and in AMC hasn’t followed through with that, the suit will be close to a billion dollars. As stated in Kirkman’s contract, he is to receive 5 percent of profits from the show, while Hurd is to receive 7.5 percent. If AMC is found to have suffused the profits from the series since Season One, the damages could total close to $1 billion.
We’ll continue to monitor both cases.
What’s your take on these lawsuits against AMC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.