Outcast, the exorcism drama project from The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman, is moving to a pilot stage at Cinemax. Kirkman made the announcement on Twitter from Comic-Con, where he is with the AMC zombie drama which has its always-popular panel presentation in Hall H. In his pilot writing debut, Kirkman penned Outcast on spec for The Walking Dead international partner Fox International Channels, which developed the project internally before taking it out. Cinemax acquired the script last November. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast too is based on a comic by Kirkman, who will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sue Naegle, Chris Black, and Sharon Tal Yguado of FIC. The project follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.
AMC wants CAA to open up its files on a wide range of clients in the latest salvo in the legal battle between the entertainment company and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the agency over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims. Actually on this occasion Darabont is not really a player as it is his co-plaintiff that AMC is taking a hefty swipe at in a letter sent to this week to NY Supreme Court Judge Eileen Bransten (read it here). “Plaintiffs cannot have it both ways – to allege that Defendants breached industry custom and practice,but then refuse to produce the documents in their possession that speak directly to and disprove these allegations,” says the June 16 correspondence that asks the judge to order CAA to deliver the docs. AMC claims that CAA are ” insisting that the documents are confidential and the burdens associated with producing them are too high.”
This latest letter to the judge follows a June 5 ruling by the Judge to allow Darabont and CAA’s lawyers to look at licensing agreements AMC had with Sony over Breaking Bad and with Lionsgate over Mad Men, something the plaintiffs had desired and the broadcaster had resisted. Also, among other things, the judge ordered AMC to hand over all pertinent documents related to The Walking Dead’s finances to determine what came in and based on that what Darabont may be owed. With that in mind, this most recent letter follows the dug-in approach that both sides have adopted in the case first filed by Darabont and CAA in a December 17 complaint. The plaintiffs allege that they were tricked out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster series and that AMC played a “self-dealing” artificially low license-fee shell game with the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. AMC says that’s not true. Earlier
in the case, when it was resisting handing over documents itself, AMC revealed that Darabont had been paid out nearly $3 million for his work on the first two seasons of WD before the producer was kicked off the show in late July 2011.In the letter of this week they say that both sides referred to additional compensation for Darabont as “Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts” in their agreements and documents – which is why they want these requested documents for their discovery process.
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of last night’s Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead.
Don’t let anyone tell you that AMC’s The Walking Dead doesn’t pack a hell of a lot more than zombies into the series — as last night’s bloody and emotionally charged Season 4 finale proved. Besides the ever-present undead, the fourth season saw a big change in leadership among Sheriff Rick Grimes and the survivors, the outbreak of a raging influenza virus in their converted prison home, the exile of one major character, the graphic decapitation of another, the death of a major foe, some revealing backstories, and the scattering of the remaining members of the series in search of a new home and new hope. It also saw Walking Dead shattering cable ratings records again, and a couple of times it beat the usually unbeatable Sunday Night Football on NBC and topped that network’s Winter Olympics coverage three weeks in a row in the key adults 18-49 demo. There’s a good chance that when last night’s ratings come in later today, we’ll see another record. Walking Dead executive producer Scott Gimple, who just completed his first full season as showrunner, talked with me about last night’s finale as well as what fans can expect in Season 5 this fall and some changes behind the scenes.
Cinemax has come on board as the U.S. network partner to Fox International Channels’ Robert Kirkman exorcism drama, Outcast. Kirkman, on whose comic AMC/FIC’s The Walking Dead is based, wrote the project on spec for his first pilot writing effort and developed it internally at FIC. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast too is based on a comic by Kirkman, who will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion. Outcast, which Cinemax has picked up for development, follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it. “Despite the success of The Walking Dead, Outcast is only my second foray into the horror genre,” Kirkman said. “I think Kyle Barnes is every bit as compelling as Rick Grimes and demonic possession is way scarier than zombies–so this is going to be fun.”
AMC Prepping ‘Walking Dead’ Companion Series Produced By Robert Kirkman & Gale Anne Hurd For 2015 Premiere
AMC is expanding another successful series into a scripted franchise. After giving the go-ahead last week to Better Call Saul, a spinoff series from Breaking Bad, the network just announced that it is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to mega hit The Walking Dead. The new drama series has a target on-air date of 2015. It will be will be executive produced by The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert for AMC Studios. “Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager. He noted that the companion series will have “an entirely new story and cast of characters”. “It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse,” he said. Added Kirkman, on whose comic The Walking Dead was based. “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”
Fox International Channels, the international TV network of AMC megahit The Walking Dead, has teamed with the series’ creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman and co-producer Circle Of Confusion to develop a drama series based on Kirkman’s upcoming comic book series set in the world of exorcism. Told through the Kirkman prism, the series follows a young man, Kyle Barnes, who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a spiritual journey to find answers but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it. Kirkman will executive produce through his Image Comics Skybound imprint alongside The Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert of Circle of Confusion. “Exorcism has captivated movie audiences all over the world but has never been explored on television,” said FIC’s EVP Sharon Tal Yguado. “Robert Kirkman, who forever changed the scope of Cable TV with The Walking Dead, possesses an unparalleled talent of telling big concept stories in a smart and incredibly genuine way.” (photo: Matt Hoyle)
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline Contributor.
Diehard zombie fans were out in force for the first night of PaleyFest 2013 thanks to the festival-opening The Walking Dead panel moderated by Nerdist impressario and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. Perhaps that’s why Hardwick erred on the side of devoted fanboy rather than penetrating interviewer, giving the event more of a Comic-Con panel feel. Cast members Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Dania Gurira (Michonne), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Scott Wilson (Hershel), Emily Kinney (Beth), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and Steven Yeun (Glenn) were joined by series creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman and his co-executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert for a occasionally salty, consistently hilarious discussion that avoided any hint of controversy.
The deal reached today brings to a close separate suits against Robert Kirkman from his former comics partner Anthony Moore in federal court and the California Superior Court. No details were revealed about their “amicable agreement” today, in which “all parties have settled the entire matter to everyone’s mutual satisfaction”, according to a joint statement. Moore filed suit last month seeking a jury trial and “a declaratory judgment that he is a joint author” of the comic on which the AMC series The Walking Dead is based, as well as co-ownership of other properties he says he created with Kirkman. In a February suit, he sought rights and royalties that he said Kirkman promised him; Moore is credited on the first six issues of The Walking Dead comics as “penciler, inker grey tones.” In March, Kirkman counterclaimed against Moore, saying he overpaid him and that Moore violated their confidentiality agreement. Kirkman is executive producer of the AMC zombie drama, which has become one of cable’s most-watched series since its 2010 debut. The third season premieres October 14.
AMC has put in development Thief of Thieves, a new project from The Walking Dead executive producer/writer Robert Kirkman and Chic Eglee based upon Kirkman’s new comic of the same name. “Much like The Walking Dead brought horror to television in a unique and groundbreaking way, I feel Thief of Thieves can do the same thing for heist stories, showing the humanity of all the characters, including the criminals,” said Kirkman, on whose 2003 Walking Dead comic the hit AMC zombie series is based. Thief of Thieves, which Kirkman based on his experience in the writer’s room of The Walking Dead, centers on master thief Conrad Paulson who, while attempting to reconcile with his estranged wife and son, vows to walk the straight and narrow, only to discover he’s completely addicted to the thrill of stealing. Now he must feed his addiction by stealing only what has been stolen, as the “Thief of Thieves.” The first arc of the comic is being written by Nick Spencer; Shawn Martinbrough is the artist. Eglee will serve as showrunner of the potential TV series and will executive produce alongside Kirkman and Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert.
Michael Anthony Moore, alleging he is co-creator of The Walking Dead comic on which the hit AMC series is based, has filed suit against his onetime partner Robert Kirkman, accusing him of promissory fraud, breach of written contract and other charges. Moore claims that Kirkman persuaded him to assign his rights on Walking Dead and other properties to a limited liability corporation controlled by Kirkman, who allegedly hasn’t shared any royalty or other payments for Walking Dead or any of the other works.
Reached by telephone for comment on the suit, Kirkman’s attorney Allen B. Grodsky told Deadline, “It’s pretty ridiculous. Mr. Moore is owed absolutely nothing. There is no fraud. No money owed. No credit.” He suggested that “when all is said and done Mr. Moore is going to end up paying Mr. Kirkman’s attorneys fees.” Additionally, Kirkman’s camp contends that Moore’s credit contractually and in the first six issues of the comic is listed as: penciler, inker, gray tones.
Moore asserts that in September 2005 he and Kirkman entered into the agreement which assigned Moore 60% of comic publishing net proceeds for The Walking Dead and another title Brit, 20% of all motion picture net proceeds for Walking Dead and Brit and 50% of all motion picture net proceeds in connection with another title Battle Pope. Moore says in the suit he was reluctant to enter into the agreement. But he claims Kirkman informed him that if he didn’t …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Six weeks after suddenly exiting the show he created, executive produced and ran — AMC’s The Walking Dead — Frank Darabont is still in discussions to continue on with an unspecified role on the show. According to inside sources, Darabont will retain his executive producer title, but just what that will mean in terms of his creative input remains uncertain. Negotiations are ongoing, and it’s “in the hands of the lawyers” representing Darabont and AMC, the source said.
Asked this morning at a second-season premiere screening in Beverly Hills if Darabont would have a role on the AMC zombie hit going forward, writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman (who created the graphic novels on which the series is based) replied, “Not that I’m aware of.” AMC president Charlie Collier said at the same screening, “(Darabont’s) imprimatur is on the show in the second season.” Darabont, who is listed as an executive producer in the credits for the season premiere, departed Walking Dead shortly after taking part in the series’ Comic-Con panel on July 22, when he appeared enthusiastic for the season ahead. He was replaced as showrunner by second-in-command Glen Mazzara, who likewise attended this morning’s informal screening.
Robert Kirkman’s bestselling comic series The Walking Dead, which already migrated to TV with the upcoming AMC series, will now spawn a trilogy of original novels to be published by Thomas Dunne books, an imprint of St. Martins Press, starting in 2011. The books will be conceptualized and outlined by Kirkman before being developed by horror novelist Jay Bonansinga (Perfect Victim). The books’ plots will take place in the “universe” or context established by Kirkman’s comic series, which is currently in its 77th issue and has sold approximately three million copies worldwide. AMC’s The Walking Dead premieres on October 31.
EXCLUSIVE: Circle of Confusion, which is working on its first TV series, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, is putting together another TV series project based on a comic book, John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew. Stephen Hopkins has come on board to direct and executive produce the project, which is in the process of locking in a writer. Chew tells the darkly comic story of federal agent Tony Chu, a “cibopath” able to get psychic impression from the things he eats who is assigned to the most usual and bizarre crimes. “There are a lot of superhero comic books but there are not many food comic books,” Layman said. “Food turned out to be a very universal theme embraced by readers.” For Layman, who has been writing comic books since 1995, this marks his first original creation and his first success. “It only took 15 years,” he quipped. Layman is celebrating another anniversary this year – he is heading to Comic-Con for the 20th consecutive year, and this time, he will have a table for Chew following the success of the series’ first two volumes. Circle of Confusion’s partners also will be going to Comic-Con, which will feature a panel for Walking Dead on Friday. The company, which represents many comic book writers, also has Powers, a drama project based on the comic by Brian Michael Bendis …