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Frank Darabont Touts L.A. Noir, Talks Walking Dead Departure

It’s been barely a week since TNT announced it’s developing an L.A. Noir pilot with Frank Darabont, and the ousted Walking Dead showrunner is already raising expectations for the period drama.

Based on John Buntin’s acclaimed 2009 book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, the show centers on Joe Teague, a fictional cop caught in “the moral gray zone” between police chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen, two very real figures who fought for control of the city in the 1940s and ’50s.

Talking with TV Guide, Darabont says he hopes to strike a balance between fact and fiction, citing HBO’s Rome as a series that successfully interwove new characters and historical events.

“That’s somewhat the approach that we’re taking,” he said. “We don’t want to be limited by facts, because we never want to abuse the facts but we don’t want to run the risk of this being a dry thing. I want it to be a bright, vibrant piece of fun drama.”

Naturally, Darabont was also asked about his unceremonious firing in July from The Walking Dead, an event that’s been in the spotlight again with recent discussion of his original vision for the Season 2 premiere.

“It was, for the sake of my cast and my crew, a tremendously regretful thing to face, to have to leave. But I was really given no choice,” he said. “I don’t understand the thinking behind, ‘Oh, this is the most successful show in the history of basic cable. Let’s gut the budgets now.’ I never did understand that and I think they got tired of hearing me complain about it. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s as far as I want to go with it because otherwise it’s just provoking more controversy and that’s not really of interest to me. I just want to keep my head down and do my job and be allowed to do my job, that’s key, and continue to, hopefully, enjoy it and do good work.”

He also addressed reports of the effect his departure had on the cast and crew: “These people are like family to me. It has not been easy for anybody. Let me put it that way: It was like a death in the family. Only I was the dead guy. I felt like William Holden, face down in the swimming pool, narrating this thing.”

L.A. Noir is set to begin filming in April in Los Angeles.


  • Roberto Briceno

    Sorry, but AMC really fucked up. I stopped watching THE WALKING DEAD because of the very slow pacing and harding any character driven moments. 

    I’m down for L.A. NOIR. 

  • Furrybastard

    Yeah gave up on Walking Dead. Is that why nothing happens and it’s just people talking about the same thing over and over and over again: because they don’t have money for anything else?

  • Practiced_bravado

    L.A Noir? Don’t you mean L.A. Noire? hehe.

  • John Vasiliou

    Walking Dead has turned into pretentious bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    “Most successfuly show in basic cable history, folks!  Do you know what that means?”

    “That we can spend more money on the show and make it even better?”

    “Fire that man!  No, it means more money FOR US!!!!!”

  • Alistair Hocker

    Sounds like it. There are only so many episodes of looking for a lost kid while talking about staying or leaving the farm i can take before i turn off. The entire first half of season 2 consists of one, maybe two at tops, episodes worth of plot, spread out and repeated.
    At this point i’m debating even tuning in for the remainder of the season, let alone watching a third season.

  • Wonder Down Under

     Please elaborate.