George A. Romero’s 1968 genre-defining horror film “Night of the Living Dead” is getting a sequel. This project will be a collaboration between Village Roadshow Pictures, Chris Romero, the late Romero’s Sanibel Films, Origin Story, Vertigo, as well as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios. It will be directed by Nikyatu Jusu (“Nanny”), and written by LaToya Morgan (“The Walking Dead”). While the plot is still under wraps, given the names attached it’s safe to assume some cannibalistic ghouls will be involved.
“Night of the Living Dead” was shot in Pittsburgh, PA on a budget of $115,000. It has grossed $30 million, and has netted about $200 million. This makes it one of the most profitable films in history. Unfortunately, Romero saw very little of that money.
When the film was released, they changed the name at the last minute from “Night of the Flesh Eaters” to “Night of the Living Dead.” When they switched the titles, a copyright was inadvertently left off. No one caught this error until after the film was released. This meant the film was public domain, and anyone could make copies without paying the creator. Some argue that this led to the film’s success due to becoming effectively free programming for a late-night horror movie. Or as a part of countless cheap horror home video boxsets.
Whatever the reason for “Night of the Living Dead”’s success its cultural impact is undeniable. It is considered to origin point for the modern science (fiction) based zombie film. Prior to this most zombie movies created them using either voodoo or magic. Though funnily enough the word zombie is never once uttered in the film.
“Night of the Living Dead” is “one of the great cornerstones of the horror genre,” according to Morgan (per Deadline). “I’m beyond thrilled to be playing in the sandbox that George Romero built and ecstatic to raise the stakes and push the envelope with this exciting new story.”
“The original version of Night of the Living Dead is still so resonant to this day,” Jusu said. “Every era has the zombie that it needs and right now, zombies reflect the ways that humans treat each other and show us who is truly the monster.”
Stay tuned to Nerdbot for updates on this and other news as they become available.