×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Frank Darabont’s Rage Boils Over: The ‘Walking Dead’ Emails

AMC Networks filed an immense trove of emails from fired “Walking Dead” executive producer Frank Darabont on Thursday. They give a rare behind-the-scenes look at the tensions that go into a prestige cable show. Darabont has said the tone and the “hyperbole” were the result of a crisis on the show, and that he stands by the substance of the emails “to the last detail.”

Here are some of the juiciest excerpts:

Email to Gale Anne Hurd and others
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 10:39 p.m.

Guys and gals,

I am in a state of absolutely boiling rage right now.

I just kept Denise on the phone for 20 minutes making her listen to me scream. I hope she conveys to you what the tenor of it, because you need to grasp my fury. I have never been a screamer, but I am now. The work being done on this episode has turned me into one. Congratulations, you all accomplished what I thought was impossible. You’ve turned me into a raging a–hole. Thanks a lot, you f—ers.

Everybody, especially our directors, better wake the f— up and pay attention. Or I will start killing people and throwing bodies out the door.

F— you all for giving me chest pains because of the staggering f—ing incompetence, blindness to the important beats, and the beyond-arrogant lack of regard for what is written being exhibited on set every day. I deserve better than a heart attack because people are too stupid to read a script and understand the words. Does anybody disagree with me? Then join the C-cam operator and go find another job that doesn’t involve deliberately f—ing up my show scene by scene.

Email to Ben Davis
July 21, 2010, 12:11 a.m.

Please let’s stop invoking the “writers room.” There IS no writers room, which you know as well as I do. I am the writers room. The lazy f—ing a–holes who were supposedly going to be my showrunners threw that responsibility on me after wasting five months of my time.

If it were up to me, I’d have not only fired Chic Egles and Jack LoGuidice when they handed me the worst episode 3 script imaginable, I’d have hunted them down and f—ing killed them with a brick, then gone and burned down their homes. I haven’t even spoken to those worthless talentless hack sons-of-bitches since their 3rd draft was phoned in after five months of all their big talk and promises that they’d dig deep and have my back covered.

They didn’t have my back, they rammed knives into it.

Professional courtesy is something one earns, and those douchebags have not earned mine. I don’t want to see them cc-ed on ANYTHING any more. They renounced that privilege by not even trying to live up to their job descriptions, by instead leaving me dangling in the wind like a hanged man. Calling their 103 “phoned-in” would be vastly overstating, because they were too busy wasting my time and your money to bother picking the damn phone up. Those f—ing overpaid con artists.

Email to Gwyneth Horder-Payton and others
Monday, June 13, 2011, 7:18 p.m.

I am profoundly let down by some of this footage. I’m boiling mad.

YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE MOTHERF—ING SCRIPT! I EVEN CHOOSE MY GODDAMN COMMAS FOR A REASON! WHY AM I WORKING SO F—ING HARD IF YOU’RE SHOOTING EVERYTHING SOME OTHER WAY THAT DOESN’T WORK?

Email to Denise Huth and others
June 16, 2011, 12:21 a.m.

Shane being chased by zombies on the Parkway and being rescued by the RV is a major element we must reshoot. Seeing those dailies today left me gobsmacked and thinking I should fake my own death, leave town, and live under an assumed name. There are some shots we can use from Gwyneth’s footage, but only shots. Right now the sequence doesn’t exist. Re-shooting this along with everything else is something we have to plan for. And I haven’t even vetted the goat farm stuff yet, but I can safely bet you a million dollars there are major problems there too.

Denise, I’m putting my anger and disappointment at Gwyneth aside when I say this. I promise I’m not being a hyperbolic–.

Remember our experience with Allan Garfield on The Majestic? We were all so shocked because it was like he had no grasp of the basics of his craft? And it turned out later that he’d had a stroke he was unaware of? And a few months after we wrapped, the massive secondary stroke happened that put him permanently in the hospital?

I am honest-to-God wondering if Gwyneth hasn’t experienced the same thing. That’s how fundamentally f—ed this footage is. It’s as if she’s totally lost her grasp of what to do. It’s like we yanked some kid with no experience out of high school and put her in charge of directing a show. And what’s really weird is that she doesn’t seem to know it.

More TV

  • Liz Meriwether Lake Bell

    Lake Bell, Liz Meriwether Comedy 'Bless This Mess' Moves From Fox to ABC With Series Order

    “Bless This Mess,” the single-camera comedy co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, has been ordered to series at ABC, Variety has learned. The series had previously been in contention at Fox and is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Bell also stars in the series alongside Dax Shepard. In the series, a [...]

  • 'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3

    'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3 at Epix

    Epix has renewed “Get Shorty” for Season 3. The loose adaptation of the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel and subsequent film stars Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Lidio Porto, Megan Stevenson, Sean Bridgers, and Carolyn Dodd. In the series, O’Dowd plays a hitman from Nevada who struggles to shed his criminal past after he moves to Hollywood to [...]

  • Goliath Season 2 Amazon

    Amazon Renews 'Goliath' for Season 3

    Amazon has renewed legal drama “Goliath” for a third season. “Goliath” centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who has one shot at redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. “Our [...]

  • Selena Quintanilla

    Selena Quintanilla Scripted Series Gets Greenlight at Netflix

    Netflix has ordered a scripted drama series based on the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla. The series is described as a coming of age story following Selena as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices she and her family have to make as they navigate success, family, and music. “Selena [...]

  • Detroiters Renewed Season 2 Comedy Central

    'Detroiters' Canceled at Comedy Central After Two Seasons

    Comedy Central has canceled its Motor City series “Detroiters” after two seasons. The scripted half-hour from Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video and Comedy Central Productions bowed in early 2017. Season two premiered in June. The buddy comedy was created by stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson along with “Saturday Night Live” veterans Zach Kanin and Joe [...]

  • Channing DungeyVariety's Power of Women, Los

    Netflix Talk Heats Up as Channing Dungey Plots Post-ABC Move

    When Channing Dungey closes a door, a bunch of other doors open. Dungey’s next move has become a subject of speculation in Hollywood’s creative community. Sources tell Variety that the departing ABC Entertainment president is already being pursued by a number of potential suitors for what could be her next big job — Netflix among [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content