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‘The Walking Dead’ Producers Sue AMC Networks over Failure to Pay Fair Market Value

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it looks like AMC is getting sued again, and this time The Walking Dead’s original producer Frank Darabont is not the plaintiff!

This time around, the current production team of Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara, and David Alpert “…maintain AMC has failed to pay fair market value in the license fee for the series because the show is produced by its in-house AMC Studios arm.”   The lawsuit includes the trinity of AMC’s The Walking Dead stable:  The original program, Fear the Walking Dead, and even Talking Dead. read more

‘The Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Signs Overall Deal with Amazon Studios

According to Deadline, the creator of the Walking Dead Robert Kirkman has just signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios and “Under the pact, Kirkman and Skybound will develop television projects for Prime Video. Skybound’s co-presidents of film and television, Bryan and Sean Furst, will oversee the Amazon projects in conjunction with Kirkman and Alpert.”

Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Event Series, at Amazon Studios praised Kirkman, calling him “…a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries.  Robert and the team at Skybound are some of the most innovative and fearless creatives in the business. Together, we plan to explore immersive worlds and bold ideas for Prime Video.” read more

AMC Announces ‘Shock Theater’ and ‘Wicked West’ Anthologies and Eli Roth’s ‘History of Horror’

AMC was busy at the annual Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour, announcing over a dozen new series and specials, and many of them are sure to be of interest to horror fans including the scripted horror anthology Shock Theater from Greg Nicotero, Blumhouse’s Wicked West “true tales” anthology, and AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror.

Shock Theater is described in the official press release as throw-back to classic Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits where “…each episode will be a brand-new sci-fi horror tale in the style of the B movie classics.”  Nicotero will serve as the director and producer of the new series. read more

The Walking Dead Season Seven Second Half Review and Analysis

You know what always gets in the way of bashing someone in the head with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire?  A man eating tiger.

I’m willing to chalk “the tiger save” up to a little creative license (both in the comic and in the season finale), but I’ve got to ask: Why did it take so long for that big cat to get down to business?

The second half of Season Seven was much like the first in terms of the slow pacing , but with much less violence and carnage.  Although producers Gale Anne Herd  and Scott Gimple and Greg Nicotero took different stances publicly about whether or not the violence from the first half of Season Seven would be toned down, it appears that Herd was being the most truthful, as there was markedly less violence and gore than the first eight episodes. read more

Outcast’s Madeline McGraw to Get Expanded Role

Deadline is reporting that Madeline McGraw, who played Ambers Barnes in Season 1 of Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, will not only return for Season 2 but in a much larger role.

Amber Barnes, the daughter of series lead Kyle Barnes, was seen in a smaller, recurring role throughout the first season; it wasn’t until the season finale that it was revealed just how important to the story she may become.

Outcast, which marks the third television series for Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead & Fear the Walking Dead) follows the journey of Kyle Barnes, a man who has been plagued by demonic possession his whole life. While trying to find answers to his dilemma he uncovers something far worse. read more

OUTCAST to Premiere In 61 European & African Markets Via Facebook Live

Fox will simultaneously premiere Robert Kirkman’s Outcast via Facebook Live in 61 countries.   May 20 episode 1 of the series will debut, at 10PM Central European Time, across the region, including the UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, South Africa, Germany, Sweden and Turkey.   It will begin airing regularly starting June 3 on Fox.   The series, which is already renewed for a second season, will premiere in the U.S. June 3   on Cinemax.  

Outcast centers around a man, Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), who has been plagued by demonic possession all of his life.   Now, he sets out on a journey to find answers so he can finally live a normal life, with the help of Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), who has his own personal demons. What he finds may change his fate, and the world’s, forever. read more

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Renewed for Season 3 by AMC

Fear The Walking Dead has been renewed for a third season by AMC, less than a week after the start of it’s second season.  The 16-episode third season of the series will debut in 2017.

Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios said, “What Dave Erickson and Robert Kirkman have invented in Fear The Walking Dead is to be applauded. Watching Los Angeles crumble through the eyes of our characters and seeing each make decisions and try to figure out the rules of their new world – it-s fresh, eerie and compelling and we’re all in for the ride.” read more

Robert Kirkman Partners with Viki to Produce ‘Five Year’

 

Viki and Skybound Entertainment, Executive Producers of   “The Walking Dead,” Partner to Produce  Robert Kirkman’s “Five Year” as a Korean Drama

“Five Year” to Be Filmed for Broadcast TV in Korea and Worldwide Streaming on Viki

 

SAN FRANCISCO and LOS ANGELES – February 25, 2016 – Viki, the global TV site powered by fans, today announced that it is partnering with Skybound Entertainment to produce “Five Year,” a series based on an original story by “The Walking Dea” creator Robert Kirkman. The pre-apocalyptic series, about a family living under the threat of a deadly meteor headed toward Earth, will be filmed as a Korean drama. read more

The Walking Dead #130 Review

                                                                                    

     Admittedly, a good portion of me was secretly hoping that The Walking Dead issue 130 (out in stores now) would deliver the promised action and choas that issue 125 was rumored to.  A few months ago, the “All Out War” storyline was winding down, and the final apocalyptic battle between Rick and Negan looked to provide that bloody and destructive battle that had been hinted at for over a year.  This is a huge expectation to place on a comic that hasn’t really provided us with any significant events (other than a big time-jump) in a few months.  But the flash-forward that began in issue 127 has mainly served to introduce us to the new world, a changed reality for the remaining characters and the wasteland they have to navigate on the way to a perceived normality.  Issue 129’s cliffhanger teased at an explosive event to kick off the current installment…..did it deliver?  Keep reading……   
    In this new TWD universe, it’s a bit unclear as to who are now considered the “main” characters.  Rick, Carl, Andrea and the others are still the main focal points, but Magna and her group, although they’re new characters, seem to be central to the plot in the current storyline.  Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom appear to have figured things out community-wise, and are thriving under the newly-established guidelines concerning travel, trading, etc.  But Magna and her friends have just been introduced to this society, and are naturally skeptical as their true motives.  Nothing can be as it seems in a zombie apocalypse, right?  All of this skepticism leads them to the discovery of Negan behind bars in the basement, and his impending freedom by the newcomers.  Spoilers aside (I’ll do my best throughout this review to not spoil any major plot points), they prove, particularly Magna, to be more intelligent and less impulsive than previously thought.  Whenever Rick is away, it feels like, horrible things happen to Alexandria.  The second coming of Negan would certainly fit the bill here.
    There are two major revelations in issue 130.  The first is one that all parents must endure as your children grow up, which Rick is now faced with.  His trip with Carl to the Hilltop, where Carl is to begin his blacksmith apprenticeship, concludes.  A major turning point towards adulthood (and the loss of an innocence that Carl really had stolen from him years prior) forces Rick to admit that his son is becoming a man, and no longer needs his protection (officially).  He has an emotional heart-to-heart discussion on this topic with Maggie, who is still in charge of the Hilltop.  This issue is also our first introduction to the child of Maggie and Glenn, Hershel.  Hershel appears to be about 18-24 months old, and is obviously named for Maggie’s father.  After trading some parenting tips, they reminisce about their journey and what brought them to this point (complacency often times breeds vulnerability, as I’ve mentioned in past reviews).  So life continues on as usual for the survivors, with only a few zombies (seriously….a FEW) thrown in for good measue.  This issue may have the lease amount of the undead in any that I can remember, with their presence really felt in one scene only.
    That scene, however, proves to be a big one.  The scouts that were were introduced a few issues back, Marco and Ken, are pinned down by a zombie horde and take refuge in a hidden ditch.  While waiting out the caravan, they begin hearing strange voices.  Later, when Marco is the only one able to make it back to the Hilltop (presumably leaving Ken to certain demise), he reports on the phenomenon that they witnessed.  And at long last…..it appears that Robert Kirkman is touching upon the evolving, “communicating” zombies that George Romero explored in Land of the Dead.  This is a great twist, as the comic and the storylines were really becoming too “human-centric”, with man playing the roles of both hero and villain for far too long.  If the stinkers (thanks to Magna for the new term) are truly beginning to evolve to the point of speech amongst themselves, then we can expect the zombies to begin playing a more integral part in the comics and TWD getting back to its roots.  With the last few issues essentially being a comic “reboot”, this is a smart move by Kirkman. 
    If you’re looking for the crazy action that has been missing since issue 126, then you’ll probably be disappointed by issue 130.  But if you look at the forest for the trees, and are willing to be patient, it feels as though the TWD world is on the verge of a major shift in the balance of power.  What part will the survivors serve in this new world order, if that is indeed where the storyline is headed?  We’ll have to wait until next month, when the characters can begin trying to grasp the shocking reality of what they just heard and how they plan to counteract this impending doom.  Issue 130 is short on action and blood, but delivers perhaps the most significant surprise in many, many years. read more

The Walking Dead #129 Review

    My how things have changed.  My last review of The Walking Dead comic (issue 127) was very climactic, but at the same time left readers wondering what was next.  The “All Out War” drew to a close, as Rick led the combined forces of the ASF, Hilltop and Kingdom to victory over Negan and the Saviors.  Negan, the greatest villain that Robert Kirkman and friends have created in the history of the TWD saga, was shown mercy and spared, as Dwight led the Saviors in retreat away from the good guys.  Evil vanquished, and good rewarded.  And oh yeah…..the undead are still patrolling the globe but let’s not get too technical here.  Where do we go from here?  How about two years in the future, for starters.  Starting with issue 127, Carl is suddenly 15 years old, Rick looks older and all-too-Herschel-like, and Andrea is being called “mom” on the regular.  What a long, strange trip we’ve missed….
    Issue 129 picks up with the group of newcomers, who’ve graced the covers of the last three issues despite being complete unknowns, continuing to be suspicious of the group that we’ve spent the last 10 years (in real time) getting to know.  Kirkman is doing an admirable job of forcing us to see this world through a new, naive set of eyes.  It’s only when Magda’s group arrives and begins questioning this community that the reader takes a step back, looks over the illusory landscape, and with a fresh set of eyes realizes that things seriously do seem to be more than they appear.  Oh, and there’s a bearded guy being held captive in the basement of a house.  Of course….Magda’s group doesn’t now about him yet but more on that later.
    Everything appears to be running smoothly.  The communities are thriving, there’s a trade route patrolled by citizens that keep the undead and undesirable alike off the trail.  All is well….but how much fun can that be?  As we know, these are the times when chaos arrives to disrupt the admirable attempt at normalcy.  Magda and her friends wander about the Alexandria Safe Zone, investigating every nook and cranny for possible hidden secrets as they still believe nobody (or collection of people) can be this nice and accommodating.  The TV show is going through this scenario right now with the whole mess at Terminus (their instincts turned out to be correct).  Rick has left to bring Carl to the Hilltop (still being ruled by Maggie), and the outsiders stumble upon the “prisoner” in the basement.  Who is it?  Why, it’s that lovable Negan fella, of course.  Crying and begging to set him free, the newcomers now face a turning point in the series and it should be no wonder as to what they’ll choose to do.  After all, when the cat’s away the mice (especially one big rat) will play.
    Following two consecutive issues of little action and much catching up (and character re-development), it was good to see Kirkman get back on the right track in issue 129.  Carl is growing up, and is now dealing with the normal feelings of teenage love, identity confusion and goals for the future all at once.  Luckily, he’s still a pretty good shot as well, as he’s able to help get he and Rick out of a potentially fatal situation with some roaming zombies.  As for Rick….since the end to the war there’s been a big change in him as well.  He verbally and physically berates a road sentry that is caught out of position, causing he and his son to fend for themselves.  The emotion and rage shown in his face as he’s beating this man down like a dog in front of Carl is clearly something that he’s never done before.  It may be that the pressure of having to protect his family and all communities is wearing on him (again), but since the war is over this doesn’t seem to be the case.  More than likely, the all-encompassing power, along with not having to worry about invading armies presently, may be going a bit to his head.  It’s certainly something to keep an eye on as we move forward.
    After a bit of a slow, but necessary, start to The Walking Dead 2.0, things are certainly starting to heat up.  Proving that Rick’s ultimate decision about Negan’s fate could be costly, issue 130 is set up to be a good one.  There’s always a calm before the storm, and the general serenity our heroes have enjoyed over the last couple of years may be coming to an end, and once again zombies might be the least of their worries. read more