AMC will shell out big bucks to end their years-long legal battle with Frank Darabont and CAA just ahead of the final season of The Walking Dead. The network has just filed paperwork with the SEC announcing that they have paid a $200 million settlement to Darabont and CAA to put an end to the dispute once and for all. This follows the filmmaker and his agents filing a lawsuit in 2013 citing breach of contract.
"The Settlement Agreement provides for a cash payment of $200 million (the "Settlement Payment") to the plaintiffs and future revenue sharing related to certain future streaming exhibition of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead," the filing reads.
The document goes on to state: "With regard to the Settlement Payment, the Company has taken a charge of approximately $143 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2021 in consideration for the extinguishment of Plaintiffs' rights to any compensation in connection with The Walking Dead and any related programs and the dismissal of the actions with prejudice, which amount is net of approximately $57 million of ordinary course accrued participations."
"The Settlement Agreement also includes customary provisions included in such agreements, including providing for mutual releases, covenants not to sue, waivers, confidentiality, non-disparagement and indemnification for third party claims," the text adds.
Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont originally adapted The Walking Dead for AMC as a live-action TV series in 2010. He also served as the showrunner for the first season, but he was controversially fired early into season 2's production due to behind-the-scenes conflicts with the cabler just a year later. The series has since moved on without Darabont to great financial success as one of the most popular shows on television.
In 2013, Darabont and Creative Artists Agency filed a lawsuit against AMC citing breach of contract. Originally, their lawyers were seeking around $300 million in profit participation payouts. To make matters worse for AMC, the lawsuit would also inspire similar legal action from Walking Dead creator and TV series executive producer Robert Kirkman, as well as Gale Anne Hurd and other executive producers involved with the show and its spinoffs. A trial was set to begin in April 2022 before the news of the settlement.
While the quality of The Walking Dead can be debated by fans, its success cannot be denied. Eleven seasons is an amazing run for a series that had trouble finding a home when it was first getting shopped around by Darabont over a decade ago. The eleventh and final season will bring an end to the zombie drama that began with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) falling into a coma in 2010 only to wake up in a post-apocalyptic world filled with flesh-hungry zombies.
The Walking Dead will return with its eleventh and final season on Aug. 22, 2021. Meanwhile, the franchise will continue even with the series ending through its various spinoffs. Fear the Walking Dead is still running on AMC and it's been reported that Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) will be starring in their own spinoff after season 11. This news comes to us from Deadline.