Much like the undead menace themselves, sometimes you just can’t keep a good zombie film director down. George A. Romero, often referred to as the “Grandfather of Zombie Cinema,” has been making movies about the walking dead for decades, ever since the release of his seminal ‘Night of the Living Dead’ back in 1968 (co-created and produced with John Russo). Now, almost 50 years later, Romero is still cranking out the zombie films, with recently-announced plans to work on a new film called ‘Road of the Dead.’
After writing and directing ‘Night of the Living Dead,” Romero went on to create two more films in the “trilogy,” those being ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘Day of the Dead.’ (Fun fact: Romero and Russo split over creative differences after the release of ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ and per their agreement, Romero got to keep the intellectual rights to the on-screen universe they had created, and Russo retained the exclusive rights to use the phrase “Living Dead” in future films he created, of which there are several.) In the 2000s, Romero also created a new “trilogy” of “Dead” films, ‘Survival of the Dead,’ ‘Diary of the Dead,’ and ‘Land of the Dead.’
The upcoming film will be Romero’s written work, combined with that of Matt Birman, the latter of whom will also be directing the film. Birman and Romero have a working relationship that goes back decades, as Birman was the second unit (stunt) director on Romero’s three most recent ‘Dead’ films. As reported by IndieWire, the description for ‘Road of the Dead’ reads thusly:
“Road of the Dead” originated as an original pitch from Birman roughly 10 years ago. The story is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day Coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Birman describes the project as “Road Warrior” meets “Rollerball” at a Nascar race, with significant inspiration from “Ben-Hur.”
Sounds a little nutty, right? It’s important to remember, though, that many of the most recent biggest successes in the zombie film subgenre have been “alternative” takes on the undead story, such as ‘Zombieland,’ ’28 Days Later,’ ‘Warm Bodies,’ and ‘Resident Evil.’
No release date has been given for the film as of yet, but we will keep you posted as we receive new info on the project!
Tony Schaab rolls his eyes when he hears kids reference a screen-cap of the original NES Super Mario game as a “Minecraft Mario” – you damn kids, get off my lawn! A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Twitter or follow him on Facebook to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.