This past summer, the horror community lost a true icon when legendary director George Romero passed away at the age of 77. Romero’s death came after a career full of great horror output, including the likes of Creepshow, The Crazies, and Martin.
Of course, Romero will always be best known for inventing the zombie genre as we know it today with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Before Night, zombies in film were primarily created by voodoo, and weren’t even technically dead people. Night introduced the concept of the undead zombie that eats flesh, travels in packs, and can only be killed by destroying the brain.
Nearly every single zombie movie or TV show since can be traced back to ideas Romero – along with his cast and crew – invented for Night, including modern mega hit The Walking Dead. It’s not just zombies Romero influenced either, as his Living Dead films have also served as inspiration for other kinds of apocalyptic tales, such as stories featuring vampires or contagious plague viruses.
Romero always stopped short of explaining exactly where the zombies in his universe came from, but apparently, his son Cameron has different ideas. The younger Romero recently took to Facebook to announce that he’ll write and direct a prequel to Night, entitled Rise of the Living Dead.
Initially set in the early 60s, Rise of the Living Dead will explore what led to the creation of the first ever Romero zombie. While many fans will likely argue that such a prequel is unnecessary, Cameron says that his late father read the script before his passing, and deemed it to be “genius,”
Cameron offered no timetable of when the film will enter production, so it’ll likely be awhile before it’s done. While I personally think a Night prequel isn’t really needed – and doesn’t seem like something George would want to exist – I won’t claim to know the man’s will better than his son does. Here’s hoping Cameron can live up to his father’s legacy.