Cable channel AMC has acquired the rights to the Image Comics series "Walking Dead," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the Robert Kirkman series: "'Dead' chronicles the months and years following a zombie apocalypse where a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, travel in search of a safe, secure home. The comic explores the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies that take a toll on the survivors. Over time, they grow willing to do anything to survive, so the interpersonal conflicts sometimes present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies who roam the country."
AMC has been entering the world of serialized drama with great results in the recent years. "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" have rave reviews and a healthy dose of award nominations. The Hollywood Reporter notes AMC has a history with genre movies, but this will be its first attempt at a long form series featuring creature effects, zombies, and a setting well outside the everyday world. The channel will also be entering science fiction storytelling with this November's remake of "The Prisoner."
While diversity appears to be the order of the day, AMC will continue its high writing standard. AMC's Joel Stillerman, says the series contains "beautiful storytelling, great human emotions and everything that really works on AMC … it allows us to stay where we want to stay: in the world of smart, sophisticated storytelling and apply that to a show that we think the audience would love."
Attached the project is director Frank Darabont. The director of "The Green Mile" will write, direct, and have executive producer credit on the series. While known for more prestige dramas like "The Majestic" and "The Shawshank Redemption," Darabont is no stranger to genre material. He wrote the screenplay for "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors," worked for a time with George Lucas on what finally became "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and most recently directed the Stephen King adaptation, "The Mist." Darabont's credentials are not miles away from "Walking Dead" itself.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Darabont originally developed "Walking Dead" at NBC before AMC picked up the rights.
As this project is still in early stages, no airdates or cast has been set.