Frank Darabont talks 'Walking Dead' departure, 'L.A. Noir'

frank-darabont-paleyfest-2011.jpgIn a new interview with TV Guide, producer Frank Darabont talks about his new TNT show, "L.A. Noir" which, we have to admit sounds pretty awesome. But he also talks candidly about his abrupt departure from AMC's zombie hit "The Walking Dead."

Darabont mysteriously quit/was fired from "TWD" in July 2011, just a few days after he had been promoting the second season of the show at Comic-Con along with the rest of the cast and executive producers. At the time, the speculation was that disagreements over the show's shrinking budget led to his exit, but neither Darabont nor anyone from AMC was willing to come clean.

But, now that Darabont has a new show to work on, he's apparently ready to address the rift.

"It was, for the sake of my cast and my crew, a tremendously regretful thing to face, to have to leave," he tells TV Guide. "But I was really given no choice. 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," he continues. "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."

In early January, an e-mail supposedly written by Darabont surfaced that detailed his supposedly plans for a splashy (and expensive) Season 2 opener for "TWD."

As recently as Saturday (Jan. 14) "TWD" co-executive producer Gale Anne Hurd was unwilling to go into detail about Darabont's departure from the show, although she was quick to point out that she still considers him a respected colleague and a friend.

"These people are like family to me," says Darabont of "TWD's" cast and crew, most of whom he hand-picked. "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."

That last is a reference to the very "L.A. Noir"-ish 1950 film "Sunset Blvd."
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