On Tuesday, news broke that Darabont, who also directed the show's pilot, had stepped down. Mazzara had penned a Season 1 episode as a freelancer before joining Walking Dead full-time at the start of Season 2 as Darabont's right-hand man. It's still unclear if Darabont will stay on in some capacity, according to Deadline.com, who first reported the news.
Darabont, whose other credits include The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, was present at Walking Dead's Comic-Con panel on Friday and seemed put out by having to work long hours on the show's second season. "There are days I wish there were a zombie apocalypse because then I could stop working," he said backstage. "It's grueling to do what we do, period, the sheer hours and lack of weekends. Normal people get to work a nine-hour day and that's when we're just getting started."
Still, it didn't seem like Darabont was planning on leaving; he spoke enthusiastically about the upcoming season and dished on writers' room discussions about the adaptation of the comic book to the show, as well as new techniques to kill zombies ("I'm really looking forward to [the zombie kill] in Episode 5," he said.)
The second season of The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9/8c on AMC.