As AMC’s “The Walking Dead” universe continues to expand at a rapid pace, Frank Darabont’s impact is still being felt. The “Shawshank Redemption” director developed the hit zombie series in 2010, but was fired in 2011 due to budgetary disagreements with AMC. The show has done just fine without him, continuing to dominate cable ratings for years and launching several spinoffs on AMC. A new limited series featuring original stars Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira was recently announced, injecting more excitement into the long-running franchise.
But some of the show’s stars are still bitter about Darabont’s firing. One of those stars is Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Lori Grimes on the first three seasons of “The Walking Dead.” Even though she didn’t last much longer on the show than Darabont did, the actress still thinks her old boss was treated unfairly by the cable network.
In a new appearance on Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast (via The Wrap), Callies slammed AMC’s decision to part ways with the former showrunner. She said the reasons the network offered for firing Darabont were inconsistent with the positive experiences she had while working with him.
“To me, it just felt like an assassination,” Callies said. “The reasons that we were given were that he’s unexperienced as a showrunner, and he’s unprepared, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing. But this motherfucker, one month before we started shooting Season 2, dropped six completed scripts in my lap and said, ‘You can learn these lines. They’re not going to change.’ And they were wonderful.”
In addition to Darabont’s professionalism, Callies believes he had a much stronger creative vision for the show than any of the writers who replaced him. If she had her way the three time Oscar nominee would still be running things.
“This might be a controversial thing to say… you cannot beat his writing,” she said. “You can’t. And there are some really good people who’ve been writing on that show since, and I got a lot of love and respect for them. Nobody writes like Frank Darabont. That’s a whole different level.”