Frank Spotnitz has exited as showrunner of The Man in the High Castle in the midst of production on the second season of Amazon’s dystopian drama. A replacement showrunner has not been named.
“Given the ambition and scope of the series, the decision has been made to locate all creative efforts on The Man in the High Castle to the West Coast,” Amazon said in a statement to EW. “Frank Spotnitz will remain as an executive producer and step back from showrunner. His responsibilities will be managed by our deep and talented bench of producers.”
Spotnitz is the chief executive of London-based Big Light Productions, and his other credits include The X-Files, Transporter: The Series, and the upcoming Medici: Masters of Florence.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle explores an alternate history in which the Axis powers won World War II and the former United States has been torn apart into areas controlled by Japan and Germany.
With a cast including Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Rufus Sewell, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the first season comprised 10 episodes, nine of which were was released in November (the pilot debuted in January of last year). The show became Amazon’s most-streamed original program in its first four weeks online and was renewed for a second season in December.
Looking back on the first season of High Castle that same month, Spotnitz told EW, “It’s such a giant narrative, and you’re serving so many characters and story lines. I would like to spend more time with every single one of them, you know?”
He continued, “My problem with the show all along is there has been more stories than I have time, and it’s just prioritizing. That’s why, when I started thinking about season 2, it was not a struggle for me. It was like, ‘Oh yeah, I want to do this, and I want to do this and this and this,’ so I have lots I’m excited to pursue.”
Deadline first reported Spotnitz’s stepping down.
With additional reporting by Will Robinson.