As reported by Variety, the case was finally settled when AMC agreed to pay Frank Darabont and CAA a total of $200 million. While this is somewhat lower than the original $260 million that the plaintiffs initially pursued when the suit was filed in 2013, it still represents a victory that Darabont and CAA may have thought was out of their grasp after AMC was victorious in the lawsuit brought by Robert Kirkman.
Variety noted that AMC was forced to disclose the payment in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing as the settlement “will essentially wipe out the company’s free cash flow for 2021.” However, making a deal with Darabont bought out the former showrunner’s rights to any future “Walking Dead” projects that AMC may wish to pursue, creating a more straightforward pathway for the network to keep expanding what has become their biggest franchise.
The original “The Walking Dead” is coming to a close as it makes its way through Season 11, but AMC has big plans for continuing the show well past that ending point. Multiple shows are in the pipeline, including “Tales of the Walking Dead,” a spin-off focused on Daryl and Carol, and the somewhat disappointing “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” While settling with Darabont may have set AMC back a step, the network is clearly banking on the coming slate of related projects to establish projects well into the future.