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Cameron Romero – son of late zombie master George Romero – has announced that he’s making a prequel to
Night of the Living Dead. The younger Romero has been working on getting the project made since back in 2014, which saw him raise $30,000 via a crowdfunding campaign. The prequel was originally titled simply Origins, but has now been renamed Rise of the Living Dead.
One of the most influential horror directors of all time,
George Romero passed away in July, at the age of 77. While Romero directed a total of 15 feature films over the course of his 40-plus year career, he’ll always be best remembered for inventing the zombie genre as the world knows it today. Before Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, zombies didn’t eat flesh, they didn’t travel in shambling hordes, and they didn’t turn those they attacked into one of them. Without Romero, there would be no The Walking Dead, much less other great zombie films like
Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead or Return of the Living Dead.
Romero would go on from Night to direct 1978’s arguably even more beloved Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s claustrophobic and shocking Day of the Dead, 2005’s Universal-backed Land of the Dead, 2007’s found footage reinvention Diary of the Dead, and 2009’s Survival of the Dead. Whether one liked all of Romero’s zombie efforts or not, it can’t be denied that the man knew how to tell a good undead tale. Cameron Romero hopes to continue his father’s legacy with Rise, which he announced on Facebook, and calls a “ love letter to my dad. ”
Rise of the Living Dead’s plot takes place during the social turmoil of the early 1960s, not too long before the zombie uprising that occurred in Night. The story centers on Dr. Ryan Cartwright, a military-funded scientist tasked with finding a way to sustain human life in the event of a nuclear holocaust. This mission came to be following the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis in late 1962, which saw the United States and Russia come dangerously close to mutual annihilation. Cartwright’s journey somehow leads to the creation of the Romero universe’s first zombie, and the apocalypse that followed.
Cameron Romero has yet to reveal what exactly his release plans are for Rise of the Living Dead, or when production will begin. Presuming that he can get the film made, one assumes that he’ll do his absolute best to make his dad proud, and craft a worthwhile addition to the Living Dead saga.