Amazon Studios signs overall deal with 'Walking Dead' creator Kirkman

The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead" (AMC Networks)

Amazon has closed an overall deal with “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and a first-look deal with Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment.

Kirkman and Skybound, which is also behind shows “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Outcast,” will develop television projects exclusively for Prime Video. Skybound Entertainment’s co-presidents of film and television, Bryan and Sean Furst, will oversee the Amazon project slate in conjunction with Kirkman and David Alpert, according to a news release.

“Robert is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of event series at Amazon Studios, in a statement. “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.”

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“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,” said Kirkman in the announcement. “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 one. 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.”

RELATED: HBO won’t renew Amazon Prime distribution deal

Amazon’s deal with Kirkman marks an important point in the SVOD’s ongoing battle with Netflix and other programmers to secure rights for original programming. It also comes the same week that Netflix announced its acquisition of Millarworld, another content-related deal that is sure to pique the interest of comics and graphic novels fans.

The urgency for SVODs like Netflix and Amazon Prime to continue producing original content is growing as programmers are increasingly electing to pull their content from those services. This week, Disney announced that it would take its live-action and animated Disney and Pixar movies off of Netflix when it launches its own streaming service. And earlier this year, HBO said it would not renew its distribution deal with Amazon Prime.

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