'The Walking Dead' Executive Producers File Breach of Contract Complaint

UPI
Gene Page/AMC

Danai Gurira as Michonne, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes

Executive producers of The Walking Dead, including franchise co-creator Robert Kirkman, have filed a breach of contract complaint against AMC.

Kirkman, with current executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert along with former executive producers Glen Mazzara and Charles Eglee, say AMC owes them money for their work on the hit zombie drama as it enters into Season 8 this fall.

"This case arises from a major entertainment conglomerate's failure to honor 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 (TWD)," the complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court reads, Deadline reported.

"The defendant AMC Entities exploited their vertically integrated corporate structure to combine both the production and the exhibition of TWD, which allowed AMC to keep the lion's share of the series' enormous profits/or itself and not share it with the Plaintiffs, as required by their contracts," it continues.

"Plaintiffs and the other talent behind TWD are the ones whose work to create, develop, write and produce the series has brought its huge success, but the fruits of that success have not been shared, as they should be."

The complaint, which also lists spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead and after show Talking Dead, refers to the profit-participation suit filed by former showrunner and series creator Frank Darabont as a "related matter."

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Darabont, who is seeking $280 million in damages, will hear a summery judgement on the matter on Aug. 24. The complaint filed by Kirkman and the other executive producers does not specify a target for compensatory and punitive damages.

"These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common - they follow success," AMC said in response to the executive producers complaint in a statement.

"Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and The Walking Dead has been the No. 1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit," they continued.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Oct. 22.

By Wade Sheridan

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.

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