If you think of zombie movies, there’s a better-than-good chance that the name George Romero might crop up at the back of your tasty, tasty brains. However, it appears the father of the zombie genre has had a tough time finding financial backing for his latest undead flick - and Brad Pitt and The Walking Dead are to blame.
In an interview with IndieWire (opens in new tab), horror director (and, bizarrely, one-time Call of Duty character) Romero bemoans the lack of funding for any potential upcoming projects, saying, “Now, because of World War Z and The Walking Dead, I can’t pitch a modest little zombie film.”
The landscape of the industry has changed since Romero’s 1968 seminal classic Night of the Living Dead, and Romero just wants to make a smart, atmospheric movie that just happen to feature zombies. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so: when trying to pitch a new film, the producers just don’t see it that way, “It had to be a zombie film with just zombies wreaking havoc. That’s not what I’m about”.
But what does Brad Pitt have to do with Romero’s struggle? Well, for Romero, World War Z marked a massive watershed moment for the future of his franchise and the zombie genre as a whole. “The moment you mention the word ‘zombie,’ it’s got to be, ‘Hey, Brad Pitt paid $400 million to do that.’” So, there you have it: Hollywood’s favourite pretty boy actor is indirectly responsible for Romero not making another movie. Gee, thanks a lot, Brad.
There is still hope for George Romero to make a triumphant return to the silver screen however, as he says, “My son has been trying to raise money for a Living Dead prequel”. The Walking Deads and World War Zs of the world may be raking in the flesh-rotting big bucks, but there's still a possibility, however remote, that we may yet live to see another Romero classic.
Image credit: Night of the Living Dead