Showrunner Greg Nicotero could not be more pleased with the reception of the hit series Creepshow since its debut on Shudder last year. Fans and critics alike loved the show, and in a surprise move, Shudder’s parent company AMC decided to broadcast the series on its regular network, as well.
Now, with the DVD/Blu Ray looming, Nicotero sees an even wider audience ready to watch a show that’s been a real labor of love since its inception.
In anticipation of that release this week, the multi-hyphenate creator sat down with iHorror to discuss how the show came to be, and what he sees as the future of Creepshow.
It all began on a publicity tour for The Walking Dead in Australia, or rather on the flight home. Nicotero had packed plenty of reading material to keep himself occupied white traveling and one of the stories he was reading sparked his imagination.
Upon returning home, Nicotero reached out to the author and was surprised when he got a call back from their agent who explained that they were trying to secure the rights for Creepshow and were looking for a creative partner for the endeavor.
“I was like,’Wait, my Creepshow?'” Nicotero said. “Creepshow, in my head, is always mine. I was very close with George [Romero] and I had visited the set for the film when I was a kid.”
So, instead of finalizing the rights to one short story, Nicotero joined forces on the project. The idea excited the showrunner for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the chance to finally work with some of the brilliant authors whose work he’d admired for years.
He admits, however, that some stories were more elusive than others when he began looking for them.
“Times is Tough in Musky Holler,” which would appear in episode five for example, was a story he had read years before, but he could not remember the title or author. He ended up finally emailing friends asking if they remembered a story about a zombie pie-eating contest, which led him ultimately to John Skipp and Dori Miller’s rather outrageous tale.
“I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of great writers over the years,” Nicotero explained. “David J. Schow, Josh Malerman, Joe Hill, John Esposito, and Joe Lansdale. Creepshow gave me the opportunity to call them up and say, ‘Hey guys, you know how we always talked about how we wanted to do something together? Well, I think I found something.’ Then the floodgates opened.”
Nicotero soon had stories from all those authors and more to comb through, including “Gray Matter,” a story by Stephen King, who wrote the screenplay for the original 80s film, which in a way completed the circle for Nicotero.
He managed to create a series that honored the original film in its visuals and themes, but at the same time could appeal to audiences who perhaps had never seen Creepshow before its new incarnation. It also allowed him to pay tribute to Romero’s original vision.
“Creepshow, the movie, was George’s love letter to comics,” he said. “My Creepshow was a love letter to his film and to the horror genre in general.”
Nicotero’s tribute was ultimately successful, but even with the show’s success, he was a bit shocked when AMC decided to bring the show from Shudder to its regular network programming schedule calling it a “huge compliment” to what they had created.
And, with that success, he’s looking forward to working on season two, which he says was one day away from principal photography when everything began to shutdown due to Covid-19.
“We had locations, sets, and literally I was supposed to start shooting on March 16th,” he explained. “Then on March 13th they pushed the big pause button and I flew back to Los Angeles on the 15th. So, we’re ready to go. I think the stories are bigger and more ambitious and more outrageous and fun. I’m taking what I learned from season one and I’m really pushing it. I love the scripts from season two.”
We’re certainly ready to see what Greg Nicotero and the creative team at Creepshow have in store for us.
Season one is streaming on Shudder in its entirety, and for those of us who love physical media, Creepshow will be available on DVD and Blu Ray on June 2, 2020!