Robert Kirkman on Animated ‘Walking Dead’ Series: “Can’t Happen Until I Get the Rights Back From AMC”

Fans have long desired an animated adaptation of the “Walking Dead” comic, but despite Kirkman being open to a “faithful” animated version, the idea hasn’t gained traction at AMC.

Kirkman expressed his desire for an animated “Walking Dead” show but acknowledged the necessity of regaining the rights from AMC. Skybound editor LaFranco indicated that efforts have been made towards this project, with many fans eagerly anticipating its realization.

In 2010, AMC released an eight-minute motion comic adapting “The Walking Dead” #1. Additionally, the network utilized comic-style animation in the webisode series “The Walking Dead: Red Machete.” AMC’s Scott M. Gimple has expressed interest in incorporating animation into upcoming episodes of “Tales of the Walking Dead,” but the franchise’s use of this format remains limited.

In 2009, AMC secured the rights to the graphic novel in a significant development deal. <em>The Walking Dead</em> premiered in 2010, created by Frank Darabont and executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, and Robert Kirkman. The premiere episode, directed by Darabont, garnered the highest audience for an original series on AMC and the best ratings in the 18-49 demographic for any cable series debut in 2010. AMC’s <em>Walking Dead</em> remained the #1 series on basic cable for 12 consecutive years, concluding its 11-season run with 177 episodes in 2022.

In March, five executive producers from “The Walking Dead” won a victory in their profits-sharing lawsuit against AMC. A federal judge denied AMC’s motion to dismiss the case, which argues that the producers are entitled to over $200 million in payments. This victory came after the producers initially filed suit in 2017 and then again in 2021, following a separate lawsuit filed by former showrunner Frank Darabont in which he was awarded $200 million in profit participation.

In addition to the concluded spinoffs “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” AMC expanded the “The Walking Dead” universe with several new series:

* “The Walking Dead: Dead City” (starring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
* “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” (starring Norman Reedus)
* “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira)

Currently, AMC is developing Season 2 of both “Dead City” and “Daryl Dixon,” which will also feature Melissa McBride as Carol.

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