Sadly, we lost horror legend George A. Romero this year. Romero is the man who invented the zombie genre as we know it and his legacy is going to live on even though he's no longer with us. His son, Cameron Romero, is one of the people who is doing his best to ensure his father's legacy is preserved. Specifically, Cameron Romero is finally moving forward with his Night of the Living Dead prequel, which is officially titled Rise of the Living Dead.
The young Romero recently took to Facebook to announce, after first funding the script for the project via Indiegogo in 2014, that the Night of the Living Dead prequel is officially moving forward. There's no word on when production is going to start, but the project is going to be made independently, which is part of the reason it's taken so long to get going. Here's what he had to say about the project which honors his father, the late George A. Romero.
"Many of you know that I have been working to tell a story for many years. My dad read the script and called it 'genius.' Many have approached me about making this film and I've said no to many because even though I'm not a 'precious' artist, this one is special... this one is mine... this one... is my love letter to my dad... to his work... to the fact that he was once called the most dangerous filmmaker alive... to the fact that society in 1968 wanted to shut him up as much as they wanted to celebrate him. This one is the prelude to Night, the film that created the pop culture phenomenon that has inspired thousands of filmmakers from backyard auteurs to $180M features to the single longest running and most successful show in the history of television. This one has been a long time coming. And it is my absolute promise to you all that this film will be everything it needs to be."
Night of the Living Dead isn't just sacred ground for horror lovers. It's a landmark movie in cinema history and a true example of what independent filmmaking can accomplish. So making a prequel to such a movie all of these years later is a potentially risky endeavor, but Cameron Romero does have his dad's blessing. And the man did call it "genius," which is significant. Here's the official synopsis for Rise of the Living Dead.
"In 1962, Dr. Ryan Cartwright was on the scientific and altruistic path to find a way for humans to sustain life in the event of M.A.D (Mutual Assured Destruction), a huge topic brought on by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Little did he know that over the course of the next several years of his life, he would take a well-funded and military focused journey to the darkest corners of the world... as he creates the ultimate weapon for the government and a curse that will plague mankind for the rest of days."
We haven't heard anything about this movie, which was originally going under the title Origins, for a while now. So the fact that Cameron Romero chose now to make an announcement now makes it seem very much like the horror movie is going to gain some actual traction. He's enlisted cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Terminator: Salvation) and makeup/special effects artist Robert Kurtzman (It Follows) to work on the movie. You can check out Cameron Romero's Facebook post, in addition to the first poster for Rise of the Living Dead, for yourself below.