Recently, horror icon George A. Romero passed away at age 77. Without Romero, the entire zombie apocalypse subgenre would never exist. Romero created the genre in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead and then refined it with 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. Romero passed away before his newest zombie film, Road of the Dead, could be completed. The project is moving forward. Romero was originally slated to produce. The original director, Matt Birman, is moving forward with the project, a sequel to Romero’s Land of the Dead.
Birman also reveals further interesting news about Romero’s legacy. The director left four unfilmed screenplays, completed screenplays, in his files. Birman believes the four screenplays eventually will be made.
George Romero definitely experienced an unlikely comeback. The director’s career had its ups and downs and then completely stalled in the late 1980’s. Renewed interest in the horror genre helped Romero stage a minor comeback, but it was the huge success of zombie films that allowed Romero to create further projects such as Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead.
Three of the completed Romero screenplays have nothing to do with zombies, which is fine. Romero directed a host of excellent non-zombie films during his career. The Crazies and Martin, two of the director’s 1970’s output are considered cult classics today.
Romero never really spent a lot of time in Hollywood. He choose to continue to produce independent features in his native Pittsburgh after the success of Night of the Living Dead. Perhaps this was a mistake career-wise. Ultimately, things did work out for him in the end as he returned to the director’s chair time and time again in recent years.