After burning through Frank Darabont and ditching Glen Mazzara, AMC’s The Walking Dead is set to promote supervising producer and writer Scott Gimple to the role of showrunner for the 4th season of the show. No word yet on who will replace Gimple for the show’s 5th season.
So, who is Gimple? A lover of dog’s and fine wine, he likes long walks on the beach, and he wrote the script for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, a film that Peter Travers called:
“Horrifying. It felt like I was pissing broken glass. I contemplated lighting myself on fire before the half way point. Oh God, oh God, I’ll find a way to pay Nicholas Cage’s tax bill if he never makes a movie again. This is why kittens get cancer.”
Correction: Apparently, Travers did not say that.
In addition to EXTREME Ghost Rider, Gimple has also written for Flash Forward and he’s penned 5 episodes of The Walking Dead, including this season’s 5th episode and the upcoming 15th episode.
Mazzara’s exit — which won’t be seen until the end of the 3rd season — was presented as “mutual” when news broke on the 21st of December, but numerous reports have indicated that Mazzara clashed with producer and source material creator Robert Kirkman, and that there was a lack of film-able material in the show’s second half.
Despite those reports and assertions that AMC had cause to oust Mazzara, the veteran producer and writer has had his share of defenders, with Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter saying:
AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, sh*t on their audience, and bury their network. Mazzara took the work-in-progress that was Walking Dead and turned it into a viable TV show with a future. Without him, that future is dim. Showrunners are not development executives, we’re not cookiecutter douchebags that you plug into a preexisting model. TWD will suffer. Even Zombies need consistency.
A week later, Sutter continued his word attack on AMC, when he said:
The show has tremendous following, has legs. They’re going to plug somebody else, some poor soul, in there…my sense is they won’t even hire a show-runner. They’ll throw a s—load of executives at it and [elevate] a poor sap on the writing staff…And that poor sap will ultimately be just expediting the notes and the vision of non-creative people, or at least non-creative TV people.
That’ll work for a minute. In Season 4, when this will all happen, the numbers will be big, and people will show up. Will it continue to do well? No. My sense is that without somebody like a Glen Mazzara running that show, eventually it will lose focus and the narratives will run out of steam, and it won’t be able to build off of itself, and it will suffer.
Harsh words, but clearly incorrect. Scott Gimple isn’t some poor sap from the writing staff — he’s a poor sap who was already a producer and someone from the writing staff. I bet Kurt Sutter feels pretty foolish now, huh?