Wow: Just a few days after acclaimed director Frank Darabont took the Comic-Con stage to promote season two of AMC’s The Walking Dead comes this news that he’s stepping down as the series’ showrunner.
Sources say Deadline’s report is true that Darabont will no longer serve as the chief writer-producer on the series. Without saying whose decision it was, the decision is attributed to Darabont never quite having gotten the hang of switching from films (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) to a TV show.
At Comic-Con, Darabont certainly seemed excited about continuing on the hit series and working with the second season writing staff. “We also have writers that are really fans of [the show],” Darabont said. “The first six episodes, nobody knew what the hell they were dealing with, except me.”
Darabont’s been involved with the project for a long time, too — he pitched it to NBC about six years ago. He could stay on the series in some kind of capacity, though such positions are sometimes merely honorary when a big talent steps down as showrunner. Glen Mazzara (The Shield) is Darabont’s No. 2 on the show, though it’s not yet clear what sort of succession plan is being laid out. Either way, the series is expected to continue shooting as planned and still debut Oct. 16.
The news is sure to disappoint fans of the series (and, okay, us too), given how involved Darabont was with the terrific first season of the show.