Frank Darabont, the creator of AMC’s hit “The Walking Dead” was unceremoniously fired from the show and was not too happy about it. Darabont rose from the dead and sued AMC claiming that the network is licensing the show at ridiculously low rates and cheating him out of money. Now, on the eve of trial, Darbont claims he is entitled to a whopping $280 million.
Darabont, the director of many films including “The Shawshank Redemption,” is now best known for being a creator, showrunner and then being fired from “The Walking Dead.” It was assumed that Darabont was fired due to a decreased budget and not getting along with executives at AMC; now Darabont is getting his revenge.
In a lawsuit filed in December 2013, Darabont, and his agents CAA, claim they have not received any profits from the show despite it being one of the most successful shows on television. Darabont alleges that AMC is involved in “self-dealing” whereby AMC licenses the show to AMC affiliates who broadcast the show at artificially low rates. Darabont claims that by setting an unrealistically low license fee for the series and employing questionable accounting practices he was deprived of millions of dollars in profit participation. 
To make this lawsuit even spicier, Darabont claims that he was fired from the show because AMC wanted to avoid its contractual obligation to pay him increased profits. Further, Darabont wants profits from the spinoff talk show, “The Talking Dead” and from “Fear the Walking Dead”. 
Despite the case, Darabont claimed that he was retaliated against over the lawsuit. During the case, Darabont claims that several months after he commenced his lawsuit, AMC improperly reduced Darabont’s sharing of the development profits from 10% to 7.5% and showrunner profits from 2.5% to 1.875%. Darabont also seeks showrunner profits for the second season of the show. These percentages may sound small but Darabont claims that each individual percentage point is likely to be worth millions of dollars. Now we finally know how much money we are looking at, $270 million, which was submitted in pre-trial submissions.
Darabont has proven harder to put down than a hungry zombie. I would have assumed that this dispute would have settled early on but this looks like it will be an all out fight. If a last minute settlement is not reached, the parties are set for a trial very shortly.