In another scary development for Netflix, Amazon Studios had landed a big name to create more original content for its video streaming service: The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman.
Kirkman and Skybound Entertainment, the entertainment company he founded with producer David Alpert, have signed a two-year deal with Amazon to develop TV projects exclusively for Amazon’s Prime Video service.
Their TV credits so far include The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and the Cinemax series Outcast.
Amazon’s recruitment of Kirkman and Skybound will help its streaming service evolve on the horror and science fiction fronts. “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,” Kirkman said in a statement announcing the deal.
This shuffling of talent — Kirkman and Skybound had been at AMC — comes as mammoth media companies and streaming TV providers jockey for position in the drive to land and keep viewers and subscribers.
Earlier this week, Disney CEO Robert Iger said the company would start its own streaming service in 2019, pulling its Disney and Pixar films from Netflix. Netflix is currently in talks with Disney to continue offering Lucasfilm and Marvel movies.
That came a day after Netflix acquired comic book publisher Millarworld, whose properties including Kingsman and Kick-Ass.
At Amazon, Kirkman and Skybound will re-team with Sharon Tal Yguado, who became Amazon Studios’ head of event series in January. Prior to that, Tal Yguado oversaw global content including The Walking Dead and Outcast at Fox International Studios.
“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,” Kirkman said. “Look out world, here we come!”
Added Tal Yguado: “Robert is a gifted storyteller who shares our passion for elevated genre storytelling that pushes boundaries. …(He) 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.”
Amazon won’t be the sole purveyor of Skybound projects. The company still has a film deal with Universal Pictures where a movie based on comic book Invincible is in the works with Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg.
Also in development: multiple Walking Dead VR video games.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.