When it comes to attracting big-name talent for the Amazon stable, it doesn’t get much bigger than luring in the guy who created The Walking Dead. Now headed into its eighth season, AMC’s horror series — based on the Image comic created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard — remains one of the top-rated shows on the air. But now Kirkman is leaving that partnership behind, entering an unexpected new pact with Amazon Studios that will give the streaming service access to projects developed by his Skybound Entertainment.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Kirkman and Skybound have inked a “sizable two-year overall deal” with Amazon. While this won’t affect The Walking Dead or its AMC spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead, Kirkman will exclusively develop TV projects for Amazon within that window. The deal also gives Amazon a first-look deal for anything developed by Skybound.
The Amazon move likely has something to do with the fact that Fox International Channels former head Sharon Tal Yguado signed on with Amazon at the beginning of the year. She worked with Kirkman both on the international distribution of The Walking Dead and on developing his horror comic Outcast. (It eventually did wind up on television, debuting a 10-episode first season on Cinemax in 2016.) Tal Yguado told THR:
Robert is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries. Robert and the team at Skybound are some of the most innovative and fearless creatives in the business. Together, we plan to explore immersive worlds and bold ideas for Prime Video.
Kirkman said of the Amazon deal:
At Skybound Entertainment we strive to tell the best stories in the most unique and creative ways in an effort to always break new ground. A forward-thinking company like Amazon is the perfect home for us. Their new foray into genre fiction has us at peak optimism for what can be accomplished during this unprecedented partnership. Sharon Tal Yguado has been an instrumental force in the success of Walking Dead and Outcast from Day 1. Being able to not only continue that relationship, but also expand it into new territory with the vast resources of Amazon, means great things are ahead for myself, David Alpert, Skybound and fans of awesome entertainment. Look out world, here we come!
Landing Kirkman is a major victory for Amazon, especially as it continues to diversify its lineup of original programs to include more genre material such as The Tick or the upcoming Carnival Row. It’ll be fascinating to see what comes out of this particular partnership.