The Real Reason The Original The Walking Dead Director Frank Darabont Was Fired


The Walking Dead has a reputation for killing off lead characters. Except for Game of Thrones, no other show will take out a main star from the line-up. In fact, even after the HBO series killed off Ned Stark, they knew better than to kill of his children, which is something the AMC wasn’t afraid to do with Carl Grimes.

The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC

Ironically, all of this may have started with one actor’s decision to be killed off The Walking Dead. Back in Season 2, character Dale Horvath was disemboweled by a walker towards the end of the season. According to new reports, actor Jeffrey DeMunn was unhappy with the network and asked to be killed off.

“Dale’s death was my decision,” he told in an interview. “I was furious about how Frank [Darabont] was pushed out of the show. I spent a week not being able to take a full breath. And then I realized, ‘Oh, I can quit.’ So I called them and said, ‘It’s a zombie show. Kill me. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

The actor later called it a relief to be killed off, but this decision, along with Darabont’s exit are two paths that completely changed the show. One was a new showrunner and the other was a precedent to kill off the moral compass.

Did Frank Darabont Make The Walking Dead Work?

Frank Darabont | Photo Credit Den of Geek

Actor Jeffrey DeMunn was a good friend of the original showrunner, Frank Darabont. The duo worked together on Darabont’s trilogy of Stephen King adaptations, which included The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Myst (also with Melissa McBride).

As DeMunn told the press, “The writing in the beginning was just amazing, as was that original cast. You can’t talk about The Walking Dead without talking about the extreme heat. I was always grateful for Dale’s hat, by the way. It was serious heat and we were working all day. The heat had a way of uniting us all, cast and crew. You kept an eye on your friends under those conditions.”

What’s most interesting about the statement above is the mention of the quality of the work in the beginning. Most fans agree and think the show has been on a decline ever since Frank Darabont left the series.

Prev1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

New around here? Sign up for our email list (only 1-2 a week; I promise!), and get our exclusive FREE ebook, “Heroes of The Walking Dead: Character Guide”, to keep you abreast of all the characters going into Season 9A.

From Carol to Daryl to Carl, all of the characters from Season 8 are included.

Whether it’s time for a refresher before the season premier, or a Cliff Notes-style guide for new fans, this ebook checks the boxes for all TWD fans.