“Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41, Plaintiff Melvin William Smith, Jr., on the one hand, and Defendants AMC Networks Inc., AMC Film Holdings LLC, AMC Network Entertainment LLC, AMC TV Studios LLC, Valhalla Entertainment, Inc., Skybound Productions, Inc., Circle of Confusion Productions, LLC, New Circle of Confusion Productions, LLC, Robert Kirkman, LLC, Robert Kirkman, and David Alpert, on the other, hereby stipulate to the dismissal of this proceeding with prejudice, with each party to bear his or its own fees, costs, and expenses,” says an order tossing the case that Judge Lucy Koh inked yesterday (read it here).
Whatever settlement the parties reached in the past few weeks is confidential, but I hear that plaintiff Smith is pleased with the outcome.
This détente comes not long before the expected summer premiere of the fifth season of the spinoff. It also comes after the attempts of the home of all things Walking Dead, TWD creator Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Productions, TWD and FearTWD EP Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment and Kirkman business partner David Alpert to quash the case were kicked to the dirt by Judge Koh on January 31.
Having first filed the case in federal court in June 2018, comic series creator Smith’s alleged that big portions of Season 2 of the Kirkman and Dave Erickson created FearTWD were lifted from his zombies at sea Dead Ahead comic.
Now departed showrunner Erickson was never named as a defendant in the suit seeking a wide array of damages and a jury trial
However, Smith did seem on pretty strong seas when he claimed that his ex-agent and current TWD and FearTWD EP Alpert was the pipeline that saw “portions of that season’s 13 episodes …copied from plaintiff’s copyrighted literary work DEAD AHEAD.”
Obviously, AMC and the other defendants disputed the claims but that’s all as dead as one of FearTWD’s walker now, isn’t it?
BTW, not that the zombie apocalypse lawsuits are over. As well as ex-TWD showrunner Frank Darabont and CAA’s long on-going more than $300 million profit participation lawsuit against AMC heading to trial in 2020, Kirkman, Hurd and other EPs are also suing the company over millions they say they are owned too – and that must really bite.