The Walking Dead has gone through its share of showrunners since the series first aired back in 2010. First we had Frank Darabont, then came Glen Mazzara and now, with season four, the man I like to refer to as “The Badass”, Scott Gimple. But not all of these transitions came easy. With producers looking to rake in as much money as they can, they’re prone to making decisions that aren’t necessarily designed to improve the show as much as improve their bank accounts. Thus, Frank Darabont met his showrunning end after the very first season. In a recent interview, he lets loose and fires a few bullets back at the powers-that-be.
While being grilled about his upcoming TNT series Mob City, he was, of course, asked whether he was a member of The Walking Dead audience, he had this to say:
Oh god no, why would I. If the woman you loved with all your heart left you for the Pilates instructor and just sent you an invitation to the wedding, would you go?
And then when further pressed about his opinions on the matter:
There’s a deep commitment and emotional investment that happens when you create something that is very near and dear to you and when that is torn asunder by sociopaths who don’t give a shit about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew because they have their own reasons to screw everybody, that doesn’t feel good.
He also had a few words about the real motivations of The Walking Dead producers:
Money. Greed. Power mongering.
Hmmm. Sounds about right for most television, I would imagine. But what was the main issue between Darabont and the Wallets in charge?
The big crux of our argument was budget. If somebody comes and hands you the biggest hit you’ve ever had you don’t just say, ‘Okay, now we’re going to cut your budgets by 25% across the board. And we don’t give a shit if you care, if you don’t like it.’ That’s just…I don’t even understand that kind of thinking. Or how much punishment it visits upon the people who are actually making the show, which was incredibly difficult to begin with. Cutting your resources by a quarter in the following season so they work even longer hours and under harder circumstances? It’s inhuman. I’ll write a book about this one day.
Sorry dude, but it’s Hollywood and that’s the kind of shit they do. Good luck with Mob City.
And while Darabont’s replacement, Mazzara didn’t exactly bring the juice when he stepped in for seasons 2 and 3, at least this whole mess led to Gimple taking over and creating what is in my opinion the best season yet. Still, it would have been interesting to see what Darabont would have done with it had he been allowed.
Thanks to The Mary Sue for the heads-up.