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Frank Darabont's The Walking Dead

Grrrrr. Aarrrgh.

Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd are close to finalising a deal for a TV adaptation of the zombie graphic novel series The Walking Dead, according to Variety.

Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore's series for Image Comics has been running (or rather shambling and lurching, but in a good way) since 2003, and currently stretches to ten paperback collections, with the eleventh due in December.

The story focuses on police officer Rick Grimes and his family, in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Other characters have come and gone as the series has progressed, meaning there are plenty of potential threads for episodic television. And the series' backbone, not unlike Battlestar Galactica, would presumably remain the Grimes' slow journey towards the Last Safe Place, which might not even exist.

Cable channel AMC (it stands for American Movie Classics, but their remit has shifted in recent years) are reported to be picking up the gauntlet. Their slogan is "Story Matters Here", which kind of bodes well, and their cable status means that, like HBO, they shouldn't be required to pull their punches when it comes to zombie flesh eating.

AMC honcho Joel Stillerman described Darabont (the director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist) and Hurd (producer of Aliens and The Terminator) as "world class filmmakers and brilliant storytellers", and described the project as "not about zombies popping out of closets, but about survival, and the dynamics of a group under these circumstances."

Darabont will be apparently be writing and directing, though presumably he won't be the only member of that team.

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