AMC wants CAA to open up its files on a wide range of clients in the latest salvo in the legal battle between the entertainment company and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the agency over unpaid fees, self-dealing, gross receipts and other claims. Actually on this occasion Darabont is not really a player as it is his co-plaintiff that AMC is taking a hefty swipe at in a letter sent to this week to NY Supreme Court Judge Eileen Bransten (read it here). “Plaintiffs cannot have it both ways – to allege that Defendants breached industry custom and practice,but then refuse to produce the documents in their possession that speak directly to and disprove these allegations,” says the June 16 correspondence that asks the judge to order CAA to deliver the docs. AMC claims that CAA are ” insisting that the documents are confidential and the burdens associated with producing them are too high.”
This latest letter to the judge follows a June 5 ruling by the Judge to allow Darabont and CAA’s lawyers to look at licensing agreements AMC had with Sony over Breaking Bad and with Lionsgate over Mad Men, something the plaintiffs had desired and the broadcaster had resisted. Also, among other things, the judge ordered AMC to hand over all pertinent documents related to The Walking Dead’s finances to determine what came in and based on that what Darabont may be owed. With that in mind, this most recent letter follows the dug-in approach that both sides have adopted in the case first filed by Darabont and CAA in a December 17 complaint. The plaintiffs allege that they were tricked out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster series and that AMC played a “self-dealing” artificially low license-fee shell game with the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. AMC says that’s not true. Earlier
in the case, when it was resisting handing over documents itself, AMC revealed that Darabont had been paid out nearly $3 million for his work on the first two seasons of WD before the producer was kicked off the show in late July 2011.In the letter of this week they say that both sides referred to additional compensation for Darabont as “Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts” in their agreements and documents – which is why they want these requested documents for their discovery process.