AMC's Talent Deals Will Remain Secret in 'Walking Dead' Profits Fight

Frank Darabont - H 2014
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Frank Darabont - H 2014

Frank Darabont's lawsuit against AMC over The Walking Dead profits won't make public the network's talent deals or its revenue from other shows — at least not in the next round of filings.

During a Friday hearing to determine what will remain confidential in summary judgment papers, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten allowed a wide range of redactions relating to profits of other AMC shows, talent deals and names of third parties who have been referenced.

Still, the parties had plenty to fight over.

One example: During his deposition, Glen Mazzara (the showrunner who took over for Darabont) spoke about misbehavior on set — involving one individual in particular. Bransten remarked it was "disquieting conduct," but not outside the realm of Hollywood history. 

Another example: One document references a merger that AMC is actively negotiating. The network's lawyer said the details could "move the company's stock price."

Bransten won't allow the parties to file excerpts of depositions — she wants all or nothing — so avoiding embarrassment for that person could significantly delay the progress of the case. She gave the lawyers a tongue-lashing for not resolving this stuff.

In an effort to avoid further delay, Bransten suggested the parties should meet on Monday, get comfortable, have some coffee and a Danish or two and come to an agreement. 

The legal battle began in 2013. Darabont, co-creator of the massively successful zombie series, was fired during the second season and claims AMC robbed him of contingent profits by producing the series and then licensing it to its cable network affiliate for not enough money.

It was revealed in court Friday that Mazzara, who was also booted from the series, came to his own settlement with AMC — which included language that prohibits him from disparaging the network.

The summary judgment hearing is expected to happen in June.