Three days after lawyers for CAA and former The Walking Dead showunner Frank Darabont went after AMC for a series of supposedly vital documents in their long-running multimillion-dollar lawsuits, the latest dust-up has settled – until the next time.
“We are happy to inform the Court that, while we do not agree that the documents requested in Plaintiffs’ October 22 Letter are within the scope of proper discovery in this matter, we have nonetheless decided to produce those documents in order to avoid burdening the Court with a discovery dispute,” AMC attorney Orin Snyder said in a brief letter to New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten on Thursday (read it here). “Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ request for a pre-motion conference is now moot.”
This succinct, straightforward response is a welcome surprise compared with the acerbic manner in which the two sides often communicated to each other since The Shawshank Redemption director and his uber-agency launched their action back in late 2013. With a new suit added in January of this year and creator Robert Kirkman and other EPs launching their own profits-participation suit last year, the battle over profits from the series based on Kirkman’s comics now sees Darabont — who was kicked to curb by AMC just as TWD Season 2 was starting up — and CAA seeking around $300 million from TWD and franchise spinoffs.
“As we said previously, this was much ado about nothing,” Bard-referencing Gibson Dunn attorney Snyder told Deadline of the three-page letter that CAA and Darabont lawyer BlankRome’s Jerry Bernstein of NYC-based BlankRome sent to Bransten on October 22. “We are happy to resolve this routine and minor discovery issue, he added. That correspondence from Bernstein accused the cabler of withholding vital production cost reports and profit participation documents related to the 2010 debuting and Darabont developed series from the plaintiffs.
With TWD awaiting the final two episodes of departing OG Andrew Lincoln’s performance as Rick Grimes and the lawyers still awaiting a summery judgment ruling from the court, CAA and Darabont’s legal crew wanted a portion the already scheduled October 30 compliance conference before soon to retire Justice Bransten to address the pre-motion letter.
That seems to be a non-issue now thanks to AMC’s new stance, but, with the kind of money involved, expect the fragile peace to turn to pitched battle again.