It appears that the “Godfather of the Dead” is ready to return to the genre that he created almost fifty years ago! Recent reports suggest that writer, director, and Zombie Research Society Advisory Board member, George A. Romero will seek financing for his latest zombie opus next month at the annual Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.
Despite an uncertain future for the production itself, there’s a surprising amount of information regarding what may eventually become the seventh film in the popular series.
Currently titled “George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead”, this new entry could be the first in the series directed by someone other than Romero himself. According to author Graham Winfrey at IndieWire; fellow co-writer and stunt coordinator Matt Birman, who served as second unit director on the last three Romero zombie films, is attached to direct:
“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.”
Fans of Romero may notice a similarity to the “bread and circuses” theme found in his recent comic book series “Empire of the Dead” for Marvel Comics. During one of our recent interviews he expressed frustration with that particular format, but seemed excited about the concept itself. And it was widely reported at the time that the project would be adapted into a television series for AMC by executive producer Peter Grunwald.
Unfortunately, it seems that a highly anticipated collaboration with fellow ZRS Advisory Board member Steven Schlozman, based on his novel “The Zombie Autopsies“, has been abandoned in favor of this new project.
Since this is breaking news, we’ll be sure to keep a close eye on any updates and followup with our friend George A. Romero as soon as possible. But this is what we know for sure:
- 1. Titled “George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead”
- 2. Written by George A. Romero and Matt Birman from a concept by Birman.
- 3. Matt Birman is currently attached to direct the film.
- 4. The film is being pitched as a concept at Frontières this July.
- 5. Set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars for entertainment.
- 6. Produced by George A. Romero (New Romero Productions), Matt Manjourides, Justin Martell (Not the Funeral Home), and Matt Birman (Pig Dreams).
We expect to learn more when “George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead” participates in the co-production market at Frontières in Montreal at the end of July. So until then, keep checking the Zombie Research Society… because what you don’t know can eat you!