Before his passing earlier this year, George A. Romero was hard at work at the next official chapter in his Night of the Living Dead franchise: Road of the Dead. Fortunately, producers are still hoping to complete the project as a legacy film. To recap:
Romero’s passing has energized his frequent collaborator Matt Birman, who was attached to direct Road of the Dead; he’ll be taking the film to Frontières on Romero’s behalf. Another sad irony is that the film is sure to get funding, as the influential filmmaker’s death has reinvigorated interest in everything Romero related. Birman spoke passionately in a recent interview with Indie Wire, where he revealed that Romero had 4 additional scripts he wanted to produce.
“I will stop at nothing to get them made! For him and with him,” Birman said in an email to IndieWire. Just two weeks ago, Birman said that Romero was eager to begin work on the projects. “He said to me, ‘Let’s get this done so we can get on to the other stuff!’” Birman said, calling the screenplays “fantastic scripts.”
In making “Road of the Dead,” Birman is determined “to protect and maintain the legacy and integrity of both the artist and the man,” he said. “He was a no-bullshit, super honest, tell-it-like-it-is man and I will always continue in that tradition.”
Related Article: George A. Romero’s “Road of the Dead” Will Continue as a Legacy Film
We’re just getting word that another official Night of the Living Dead film is in the works, and this one will also bare the Romero family name. Rise of the Living Dead will be a prequel and it comes from the mind of Romero’s son, Cameron Romero. He made the announcement via Facebook—and it’s epic!
Per Cameron Romero’s Facebook Page:
This may be the coolest announcement I’ve made… ever. The best part is that this is only PART 1!
Since my dad passed away on July 16th, I’ve seen him honored by fans, members of the industry (some of whom truly loved, respected and looked up to him and some who are truly opportunists hoping to capitalize on his name). I’ve watched amazing filmmakers issue tributes, thanks and inspirational credits to my dad… I’ve watched millions of fans around the world grieve, celebrate, mourn, lament and iconize his name, reputation, body of work, etc… I’ve watched him receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (online, as I was not invited to the ceremony), I’ve watched him be honored with zombie walks, conventions, magazines, films, social media video tributes and just about anything else true fans of the man and what he did could think of to honor him… I’ve been sent photos of some amazing tattoos friends of mine have gotten and that fans have gotten to memorialize their love for his work… I’ve asked my friend, Jeffery Scott to design my memorial tattoo in only the way 1019 can do as himself, as my dear friend, as a man with insight into my relationship with my dad and as one of the most amazing artists I’ve ever had the privilege to call friend. I’ve lamented his loss with my brother, J.B. Beverley, shared a beer and some memories with friends like Chuck Daniels, cried on the shoulder of my best half, Becki Brewer and cried with Steve Barton, finally met and shared time with amazing friends like Scott Lake and Michael J. Junkin, talked and wrote for hours with my true and dear friend John Thaddeus, talked about the real future as the carrier of the family legacy with one of the best businessmen and a mentor of mine, Scott Valentine and spent all of that time with one goal in my heart and in my mind… to finally and without fail do whatever the Hell it takes to honor my father and his memory in the best and only way I know how to do. J Aaron Hager and I have spent a lot of time talking about a lot of things, but I have to give him a very special thanks for the following artwork.
Many of you know that I have been working to tell a story for many years… My dad read the script and called it “genius” (I’m not saying that from pride, it’s an actual quote and I have the email to prove it!) Many have approached me about making this film and I’ve said no to many because even though I’m not a “precious” artist, this one is special… this one is mine… this one… is my love letter to my dad… to his work… to the fact that he was once called the most dangerous filmmaker alive… to the fact that society in 1968 wanted to shut him up as much as they wanted to celebrate him…
This one is the prelude to “Night,” the film that created the pop culture phenomenon that has inspired thousands of filmmakers from backyard auteurs to $180M features to the single longest running and most successful show in the history of television…
This one has been a long time coming…