George A. Romero is singlehandedly responsible for the fact that zombies have become a cultural icon of horror. He will forever be associated with the undead shamblers, and now his son has begun working on the ultimate tribute to his father. Earlier this week George Cameron Romero, the son of the late director, announced that his own original screenplay, written as an origin story for his father's zombie franchise, is officially going into production. He shared the film's title with fans, Rise of the Living Dead.
The fact that George C. Romero had been working on a prequel story was no secret. His Facebook post where he announced the film makes reference to a crowdfunding campaign that he ran a couple years ago in order to get the money to further develop the story. However, until now, there was no indication that the project was ever actually going to get off the ground. On Halloween Night the son of George A. Romero officially revealed that Rise of the Living Dead is happening. Not only that, but apparently the late creator of Night of the Living Dead had already given his approval. According to the younger Romero...
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! :) )
George C. Romero also announces that Terminator: Salvation director of photography Shane Hurlman and make up artist Robert Kurtzman will be involved in the project. Kurtzman's filmography includes several horror properties including From Dusk Til Dawn. Romero is almost certainly going to be acting as the director as well as the writer. This film is designed to be a tribute to his father, so the son will likely be taking on the same responsibilities as his father on the original Night of the Living Dead.
A prequel story to Night of the Living Dead is an interesting idea. The original film doesn't really get into the causes of the dead rising from the grave. It's teased that the source actually comes from outer space, but as the movie isn't really about where it all started, it doesn't give any of that much attention. Based on what George C. Romero says here, it seems that his father approved of whatever origin he has given in this new script. We're certainly curious to see what it's all about. In the end, the son promises that the new film will follow in the footsteps of his father's work.
And it is my absolute promise to you all that this film will be everything it needs to be... it will be unapologetic
No schedule or release date for Rise of the Living Dead was announced so it's anybody's guess when this new chapter in what is now the Romero family's zombie series will be here, but we can't wait to see the son's tribute to the father when it's ready.