"The Walking Dead" producers are debunking the rumor about staff firing and confirming a Fall comeback at the same time. Gale Ann Hurd who works with Frank Darabont as executive producers said the story originating from Deadline is not true, saying his co-worker is not firing the writers staff for the option of freelancers.
In fact, co-creator Charles "Chic" Eglee is not dismissed but he left on his own accord. "[In] the writers' room, there are people that have set up other projects that will be their first priority if their own series is picked up as a pilot or if it's a series. I think [Eglee] just decided that he wants to run his own show," Hurd explained to EW.
In a different interview, exec producer Robert Kirkman whose comic is adapted into the series also clarified about Chic's departure. He said, "Chic Eglee is a high-level television writer. He was brought onto The Walking Dead with the idea that Frank was going to work on the first season and then go off and do movies."
"Chic didn't want to be second-in-command on a show when he's used to being a top dog, and so he decided to go off and do something else, which is something that happens and is not a big deal." He added that the initial report is "unfortunate", "premature" and makes Darabont look bad.
When asked about any truth at all, Kirkman said, "It's a little premature to be nailing down. I don't know if it's going to be a freelance situation or if we're going to have writers in a writers' room. That's something that's being worked on now."
Hurd said that Darabont and Kirkman would sit down the beginning of next year and begin "mapping out". It is thus most likely that the production would only start in the second quarter of 2011 and the premiere would take place in October for Fearfest.
As for the return of the cast whose characters are still alive, Hurd confirmed that "every one of the principal cast is signed up for multiple seasons."