Frank Darabont Rips ‘Sociopaths’ Who Fired Him From ‘Walking Dead’

Walking Dead: Frank Darabont Rips 'Sociopaths'

'Mob City' writer-director says he no longer watches AMC zombie drama

Frank Darabont is revved up about finally tackling the noir genre with his TNT series “Mob City,” but that doesn’t mean his wounds from “The Walking Dead” experience have healed.

Billed as a three-week event, “Mob City” is one of TNT’s most ambitious series efforts to date. The net plans to roll out two episodes at a week starting Dec. 4, hoping that the condensed six-episode season will generate more buzz in a short period of time when most of its competitors are in holiday-light mode.

“It’s semi-binge-viewing, I guess,” Darabont says. “The audience really gets to see if they’re digging what they’re seeing…It’s so smart. If the show is successful, it will be due in large measure not just to our efforts, but to TNT’s because they’re marketing the hell out of it.”

Darabont’s interest in film noir has rattled within him for years. But the spark that led to “Mob City” came from a happenstance purchase while leaving the city that would become his muse.

“I found the book in LAX,” Darabont says of John Buntin’s “L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City,” the inspiration for the series. “I was leaving town for a quick week of R&R in 2010. At first, I thought it was a collection of short stories, but I realized it was nonfiction on the plane, and I couldn’t put the damn book down for two days.”

Darabont began developing “Mob City” with his longtime friend Michael De Luca not long after he went through the excruciating experience of being fired from “The Walking Dead,” the cable smash that he launched on AMC in 2010. When asked if he still watches the zombie-apocalypse drama, Darabont lets loose.

“Oh god no, why would I,” he says. “If the woman you loved with all your heart left you for the Pilates instructor and just sent you an invitation to the wedding, would you go?”

He continues, “There’s a deep commitment and emotional investment that happens when you create something that is very near and dear to you, and when that is torn asunder by sociopaths who don’t give a shit about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew because they have their own reasons to screw everybody, that doesn’t feel good.”

Read the entire story in the Nov. 26 edition of Variety

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  1. RoscoLittle says:

    Mob City was horrible. It was a soulless overview of a newb’s idea of what something called Mob City might be. Picking Al Capone is like picking the Model T. It shows a complete lack of research and imagination.

    • CountryFriedPickler says:

      Frank Darabont is definitely not a “noob.” He’s a highly respected individual and TWD has went down every season and that has a lot to do with him being fired. A LOT of people really enjoyed Mob City. Grow up and realize that just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean everybody else has to hate it too. People like different things because people have different opinions DA.

  2. Max Stirner says:

    The collective ‘they’ might be inaccurate here: the company, considered as a being—it certainly enjoys the separation of a being apart from its investors and its officers, who in practice gain an almost complete ability to avoid responsibility, is sociopathic by design, seeking only to maximise its own profit (the ‘for the public good’ provision in articles of incorporation is a legal dead letter) and devoid of empathy for any other being, it is very easy for it to act as a predator.

    Ever wonder why vampire fiction has become so popular for the past couple of decades? Potentially immortal, devoid of real feeling for another being (except in apologia written by the likes of Stephanie Myer and the Cato Institute), powerful, hates the light of day….

    • Xybernauts says:

      I’m assuming your saying A&E is the sociopathic vampire predator who preyed on Darabont? Perhaps because they took his “child” from him? I disagree totally. In the end TWD is Kirkman’s and A&E’s child and Darabont is the nanny. Except the nanny decided he’d go off the rails and dictate the the parents how the child would be raised. If you were the parent what would you do?

      To me Darabont was the predator using TWD to prey on minorities. Plus there were always a racist subtext portrayed through Meryl and Daryl, but initially we all assumed it was just realism since the show was set in Georgia, USA. But did you notice how much they neglected TDog? The neglected him so much in the second season. He was a second class citizen with no real story. We had all these macho men and then we had TDog who was on the background. Then Darabont leaves and suddenly minorities become equal partners not second class citizens. With Michonne and Tyreese and his sister, etc. They have back stories and actual character development without unnecessary racist undertones. Who would have thought! A&E is in the light, but then again my definition of light might not be the same as yours.

  3. Brit says:

    The show is so much better without him. He may be a good actor but his character was never likable. I hate when actors hate on the shows that made them famous. I definitely had never seen or heard of him before the Walking Dead.

    • Sam says:

      Frank Darabont didn’t act in the Walking Dead he was the Season 1 show runner and directed the first episode. As for no one knowing of him beforehand he directed and wrote the screenplay for The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile which kind of makes him bigger than the Walking Dead is.

      • Nick says:

        Frank was the show runner during season 1 & 2, but he didn’t direct the first episode.
        He directed another one: See IMDB.
        It was good: He even got a DGA nom as ‘Best director’.

  4. Michele Thrapp says:

    After watching last weeks episode, they should beg him to come back!

  5. Oblivion138 says:

    The series has gotten worse and worse since Darabont was canned. Every character on the show is an idiot now. And they only ever kill off nameless characters who they only introduced in the first place to say three lines, then get eaten by a zombie. There’s no real sense of danger anymore. The best they can think of in Season 4 is to make the zombies LOUDER, apparently. Good luck, Walking Dead…I’ve finally given up on you.

  6. G. Jardoness says:

    Step 1) Run and hide from Zombies.
    Step 2) Shoot and hack at Zombies.
    Step 3) Add jump-scares, gore, an occasional betrayal, and infestation.
    Step 4) Go to Step 1, and repeat, again and again and again, until the audience becomes Zombies too.

  7. Wetcnt says:

    Thank god they fired him. The show has become so much better after he left. He was dragging it into a pit crap.

    • Xybernauts says:

      I agree! Personally I feel the show became way better after he left. Personally for me the show became racist, especially in the second season. He used the character of T-Dog as his punching bag by treating him like a second class citizen. All the other younger males we’re assertive strong men who were outspoken, except T-Dog. He barely got a line each episode. He was justtheir hovering in the background. After Darabont left though, suddenly minorities gained a more prominent role in the series. I guess Darnont didn’t like that. Instead of being second class citizens they became equal partners. I love AMC for that! Personally i wouldnt be surprised if he got fired because he thought he could use The Walking Dead as his pulpit to subtly spew racist views. So for me the show is a big improvement. Plus I don’t see anything wrong with the stories so far. I really don’t see what everyone is complaining about. I honestly hope Mob City fails.

    • add says:

      Hahaha. You must be one of the mindless drones who keeps watching that crap just because it has zombies. I’m sorry but if you think that the current season (people falling in the middle of empty roads like idiots, the ongoing destruction of The Governor character) is better than the first season (the second season was were Darabont was f**d by the AMC execs so don’t give me that crap about the farm) you are a moron.

      • Felipe says:

        answering with insults, how adult from you and yes, he was dragging the show, 1 zombie per episode? he gotta be kidding, it’s much better after he’s gone.

  8. Xmasevebaby says:

    I haven’t missed an episode of The Walking Dead, but because of Darabont, I will absolutely watch Mob City.

  9. TravelGal says:

    We need MORE “NOIR” stories on the air! My favorite genre. I’ll be watching! PS I don’t watch Walking Dead either.

  10. Dave Andrews says:

    Lol, that’s Hollywood for you. Typical net exec and studio B.S.

  11. A sociopathic Pilates instructor? Did Darabont pitch this idea to TNT as well?

  12. Good for you! We’ve been burned and thank goodness you keep you mind and soul clear

  13. Mark Isenberg says:

    Frank makes a good point even with his name still listed in the credits,it is not the same show it started out to be and the Talking Dead after show discussion is not at all informative but to the most devoted fans. AMC likes the ratings and the ad revenue it generates but the characters are making changes that are turning off viewers especially the new improved role for the Governor,David Morissey.

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