Shocking The Walking Dead news struck last night as Frank Darabont has reportedly left his post as series showrunner on his own volition.
Darabont was an integral figure in translating The Walking Dead from comic book to the small screen. He spent upward of five years trying to get the series off the ground, including writing and directing the pilot episode. He’s been at the forefront of discussing the show with the media, and just a few days ago appeared alongside his cast and producers at AMC’s packed The Walking Dead Comic-Con panel.
One theory for Darabont’s abrupt departure is that he never quite adjusted to the rigorous schedule of a television shoot after spending the majority of his career working in feature films. Another theory is that he made this decision prior to Comic-Con but didn’t want his departure to affect the panel’s focus on promoting the upcoming season.
Darabont’s exit won’t affect ongoing production of 13 new episodes of The Walking Dead season 2 currently in production, but it does leave a big hole to fill. Executive Producer Glen Mazzara, brought in by Darabont, could step in as he has showrunning experience from The Shield. Also still unknown is whether Darabont will remain on board in some sort of executive producing capacity with less responsibility, or whether his future plans will return him to feature films.
On the bright side, season 2 of The Walking Dead is looking spectacular. Check out the Comic-Con trailer and images here.
The Walking Dead season 2 premieres October 16 on AMC.