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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