Frank Darabont, who developed the “Walking Dead” comic book series for AMC Networks, could make a zombie seem friendly, recently filed court papers reveal.
The director and show runner, in a series of expletive-ladened e-mails, unleashed hell on AMC brass and show employees — calling them “f–king lazy a–holes” and “f–king con artists.”
And then in subsequent e-mails Darabont really got angry.
The e-mails were made public in a late Wednesday court filing, amid a hotly contested legal case following Darabont’s ouster from the show in 2011.
It was never made clear why the 58-year-old French director was let go from the successful show — but the court papers indicate it was about his inability to handle the pressures of overseeing a TV show.
Darabont and CAA, his talent agency, sued AMC after getting fired following Season 2. The suit, filed in Manhattan state court, seeks $280 million — the amount of salary and profits he lost out on.
The e-mails were unveiled when AMC filed court papers asking the judge to rule in its favor. Darabont and CAA filed a similar parallel request.
The two sides will argue the case in court on Aug. 24. Lawyers on the case will have a tough time matching the energy of the unmasked e-mails.
“I’ve never been a screamer, but I am now,” writes Darabont in an email to AMC’s creative staff on the show. “You’ve turned me into a raging a–hole. Thanks a lot, you f–kers.”
Darabont, who directed the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” is said to have had little experience running a TV show.
Frustrated by what he saw as huge mistakes in shooting certain scenes and in the editing of some scripts, Darabont excoriated his staff, writing in an e-mail: “Everybody, especially our directors, better wake the f–k up and pay attention. Or I will start killing people and throwing bodies out of the door.”
Darabont, at the time he was firing off his testosterone-fueled missives, was complaining about how his cameraman totally missed a zombie tumbling down a slope.
“F–k you all for giving me chest pains because of staggering f–king incompetence,” he wrote to his staff.
Darabont even suggests one of the directors may need a brain scan to check she hadn’t had a stroke.
As part of the court battle, Joel Stillerman, a former AMC executive, testified during an August 2015 deposition that Darabont “was removed because his duties as a show runner were so poorly handled that we gauged them to be jeopardizing the enterprise itself and certainly the long-term sustainability and success of that series.”
Darabont’s lawyer Dale Kinsella said the e-mails were an “irrelevant distraction.”
“Unfortunately, this litigation gamesmanship by AMC and [its lawyers] is too little and too late and in no way relieves AMC of its contractual liability to our client.”