The case between AMC and co-creator Frank Darabont over the hit TV show The Walking Dead is moving forward. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Darabont and his agents filed their certificate of trial readiness this week, revealing that they are seeking damages that total more than $280 million.
According to AMC, the lawsuit is without merit. “Plaintiffs’ damages claim has no basis in reality and we will continue to vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” AMC said in a statement to the site.
Darabont was fired in the middle of The Walking Dead‘s second season. He alleges that AMC denied him his profits “by producing the series and then licensing it to its cable network affiliate for not enough money.”
From THR’s report: “Considering that Darabont was contractually entitled to as much as 10 percent of certain Walking Dead profits after deductions, the damages figure suggests the series has made billions. The lawsuit asserts, however, that a low license fee formula has been designed to ensure that the show would never be in the black for profit participants.”
Additionally, Darabont claims AMC unfairly reduced his profit share because it did not count him as being “fully vested in the second season.”
“He says he worked on all of the episodes of the second season while AMC asserts he had to be working full-time on the show at the end of the second cycle,” THR reported.
If the judge, Justice Eileen Bransten, allows the AMC vs. Darabont case to continue, the next step could be a trial–and that might be a long time off. The judge said her 2017 schedule is fully booked, so the sides would need to wait until at least 2018 to get the case heard in court.
Darbont also directed Stephen King movies including The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
The Walking Dead Season 6 ended with a controversial cliffhanger, in which Negan claimed the life of one of the show’s main characters. During the Walking Dead panel at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, star Andrew Lincoln confirmed that viewers would discover which character has been killed during the premiere episode. “It’s a really s****y start to the season [for the characters],” he said, as reported by Variety.
In a recent interview with EW, Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan admitted that even he didn’t know who his victim was while he was shooting those scenes. “They did not tell me,” he said. “I don’t know that anybody knew on that particular evening, and if they did, no one has copped to me. But I certainly didn’t know.”
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres on AMC on October 23.