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The Walking Dead Stagger On To AMC

Executives Tap Frank Darabont to Produce, Write and Direct

Aug 14, 2009 Bookmark and Share


Variety reported earlier today that cable juggernaut AMC is aiming to produce an adaptation of Image ComicsWalking Dead monthly series. This would usually be met by groans from protective fanboys were it not for the fact that three-time Oscar nominated director Frank Darabont is attached to the project for executive producing, writing and directing. Whoa. Wait a minute. Now that’s interesting.

For those that need an introduction, The Walking Dead graphic novel series is penned by Robert Kirkman and has gone through numerous editions since its 2003 inception. Readers follow a group of survivors in the wake of a worldwide plague and zombies aren’t the only problems they face. The main protagonist is former police officer Rick Grimes. If you want to start reading up on the series the best place to start is Compendium One, which we gave a glowing review earlier this year. Variety announced that Terminator franchise producer Gale Anne Hurd (Valhalla Motion Pictures) and David Alpert (Circle of Confusion) are set to executive produce the television venture. No word yet on any actors attached to the project but we’ll keep you posted.

Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior VP of programming, production and original content, said the project appealed to the network because of “the quality of [Kirkman’s] storytelling.” Such an episodic comic seems like it would translate the best to television so here’s hoping this works out in the long run. Stillerman assures fans of the comic that AMC will stay faithful to the tone of the original books.

“This is not about zombies popping out of closets,” says Stillerman. “This is a story about survival, and the dynamics of what happens when a group is forced to survive under these circumstances. The world (in Walking Dead) is portrayed in a smart, sophisticated way.” Damn straight it is. (Sorry it’s the fanboy talking.) On Image Comics homepage, Kirkman had this to say about the forthcoming series: “I’m a huge fan of Frank Darabont’s body of work and AMC has impressed me to no end with Breaking Bad and Mad Men.” “I couldn’t be happier with The Walking Dead ending up here.”

Additionaly there is no studio attached yet to the Darabont and Hurd series. All in all, if AMC can lend this genre show the same attention to detail as Mad Men they’ll have a winner on their hands. Here’s hoping they do. Darabont is currently in production on several projects—two of which are Ray Bradbury adaptations (Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man). The man’s seriously taking on some sacred cows.

(www.amctv.com)



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