Frank Darabont: I'm Still Too Devastated to Watch 'The Walking Dead'
Frank Darabont on the "Walking Dead" set with Jon Bernthal
Original "Walking Dead" showrunner Frank Darabont — who spent five years shepherding the Robert Kirkman graphic novels to TV — says he's still too heartbroken by his 2011 ouster from the show to continue watching the AMC hit unfold.
"I haven't seen an episode of 'The Walking Dead' since then," Darabont tells Rolling Stone.
"I had to take some time off after that to really reassess everything, to really get over the emotional devastation of having some truly malevolent people tear asunder a brilliant family that had gathered to create this hit for them. It was a very, very deep and loving family, the cast and the crew, and to have that torn apart was ... when somebody throws a hand-grenade into that situation, it's tremendously emotionally trying.
"So would I want to watch another episode of 'The Walking Dead' after that? Are you f---ing kidding me?" said Darabont, who, Rolling Stone reports, was asked to cut $500,000 from the budget of every "WD" episode. "No, you put that traumatic disappointment behind you and move on with your life."
Which is exactly what the big-screen and small screen drama master has done. Darabont, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile," will premiere his latest TV series, the crime noir drama "Mob City," on TNT on Dec. 4.
The three-week series — two episodes air each night during the six-episode season — revolves around the men and women on both sides of the law in 1940s Los Angeles. Real-life figures like mobster Bugsy Siegel (played by actor/director Ed Burns) and LAPD police chief William Parker (played by "Justified" alum Neal McDonough) are major players in the action, while fictional detective Joe Teague is the central figure who ties many of the characters together (in some twist-filled ways, of course).
And to find the actor to play that key role, Darabont did go back to "The Walking Dead": series alum Jon Bernthal, best known for playing Shane Walsh, whose love triangle with Rick and Lori Grimes led to his death near the end of "Dead's" Season 2.
Frank Darabont on the set of "Mob City"
Darabont also cast "WD" alum Jeffrey DeMunn (whose Dale also became zombie chow at the end of Season 2) as LAPD mob squad head Hal Morrison in "Mob City." And while Darabont went on to refer to the powers that be at "The Walking Dead" as "sociopaths" in a Variety interview, Bernthal, for one, tells Yahoo TV he is still a fan of the zombie apocalypse adventure.