George Romero is Hollywood royalty, although he's probably really far down in the line of succession. The man invented a genre, for crying out loud, and a ridiculously popular one at that. Before Romero, zombie movies were actual zombie movies, couched in voodoo rituals and the like. (Did you ever see I Walked with a Zombie? Great movie, but it's actually an adaptation of Jane Eyre. Really.) So he knows a lot about zombies. And he's about to tell you a lot more about them with his next movie The Zombie Autopsies.
The Zombie Research Society has landed an exclusive story that George Romero has optioned the rights to Steven Schlozman's novel The Zombie Autopsies, which tells the story of a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a small team of researchers trying to develop a cure. Since the zombie genre is one of the most ubiquitous in horror fiction these days, the concept feels a little familiar. But if Romero brings his "A" game to the project we could be in for a smart new take on Romero's old standard, focusing on a relatively new angle as opposed to the whole "gang of survivors fighting off zombies" schtick.
The problem, of course, is that Romero hasn't exactly been bringing his "A" game to the genre lately, with disappointing films like Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, which at best boasted some neat ideas and at worst suffered from poor characterization and ridiculous plotting. (Really, George? A plot twist involving identical twins? What is this, Days of the Dead of Our Lives?) Schlozman's involvement could be an excellent new development, however, since he actually knows what he's talking about. In addition to being a member of the Zombie Research Society Board – just like Romero – he's also a director of Harvard Medical School, so he knows quite a bit about medical science and the drama that goes between folks who run a hospital together.
That said, we'd like to remind Mr. Romero that he doesn't have to keep making zombie movies. We're sure they're spectacularly easy to get funding for, given his pedigree, but we got the impression with his last two movies that he has a little less to say with or regarding the genre than he used to. Even Land of the Dead, which was actually rather fun on its own merits, was a fairly straightforward action movie with horror and class warfare elements, as opposed to his earlier zombie movies which were more deeply steeped in social commentary. Besides, he's done other great movies, Martin and Monkey Shines among them.
Either way, we guess we hope this pans out. Could be just the thing to get Romero's creative juices flowing again, playing up his strengths while setting him just a little outside of his comfort zone dramatically. Fingers crossed.
CraveOnline will be back with more Zombie Autopsies news after we come to get Barbara.