Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The Walking Dead is stopping substantial zombie films being made, says George A Romero

 'I can’t pitch a modest little socio-political zombie film'

Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 29 October 2016 13:17 BST
(Getty Images)

You'd think having steered the zombie genre into prominence would earn you a level of creative freedom, but sadly for George A. Romero that doesn't seem to be the case.

The filmmaker's seminal 1968 film Night of the Living Dead is deemed the inspiration for all future entries into the genre ranging from Danny Boyle film 28 Days Later... (2002) to AMC series The Walking Dead.

Ironically, he believes the latter is preventing zombie films with "any sort of substance" to be made.

“I can’t pitch a modest little zombie film, which is meant to be sociopolitical," the 76-year-old told Indiewire.

“I used to be able to pitch them on the basis of the zombie action, and I could hide the message inside that. Now, you can’t. The moment you mention the word 'zombie,' it’s got to be, 'Hey, Brad Pitt paid $400 million to do that'," he added in reference to World War Z.

Romero followed up Night of the Living Dead with Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985) and Noughties films Land of the Dead (2005) and Diary of the Dead (2007). The success of these saw a new film greenlit despite feeling the franchise had dried up.

“I said I’ll do [Survival of the Dead] as a western and the next one as a noir. So [I] did the western, nobody liked it, and the other one fell away.

“Then, all of a sudden, here came The Walking Dead. So you couldn’t [make] a zombie film that had any sort of substance. It had to be a zombie film with just zombies wreaking havoc. That’s not what I’m about.”

Romero isn't the first horror maestro to speak candidly about The Walking Dead, last week's season 7 opener of which was deemed 'too violent for TV.' Halloween director John Carpenter revealed his true feelings about the show when talking about Romero in an interview with Marc Maron.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in