George Romero Turned Down THE WALKING DEAD
For the better part of 50 years, zombies have played a part in the horror genre. But it was zombie icon George Romero that really brought the undead to the fore front with classic film Night of the Living Dead. To date, it remains as one of the top horror films ever created and is the bar that all other zombie/infection films are compared to. Fast forward to a few years ago to when a little TV series debuted on AMC; one that would soon be breaking viewership records. The Walking Dead, based on the comic of the same name, written by Robert Kirkham, has become one of the top shows on television and has taken the horror genre to a realm none thought possible. You’d think that The Walking Dead and George Romero would be a match made in horror heaven, but that isn’t happening.
In a recent interview with The Big Issue, Romero was asked about the hit AMC series and whether or not he would ever get behind the camera to helm an episode or two. Surprisingly, the iconic director wants nothing to do with it and had some rather harsh words to say.
“They asked me to do a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead but I didn’t want to be a part of it. Basically it’s just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism and I find that missing in what’s happening now.”
Since Romero made his film 45 years ago, the zombie and the zombie film has made some drastic changes, moving from the slow and relentless stalker, to the vicious fast-moving swarm, most recently seen in Brad Pitt’s World War Z. Naturally, Romero had a few things to say about that as well.
“I guess Zack Snyder started that with the remake of Dawn of the Dead – fast-moving zombies, but the zombies in World War Z, my God, they’re like army ants! But in all the adverts here they never called it a zombie film.”
Something that not a lot of people know or realize is that Romero never called these “creatures” zombies in his own films. He never really thought of them as “zombies.” To him, a zombie was something that derives from the voodoo aspect, which is where the term an concept actually comes from, according to some beliefs. It’s a shame that he isn’t a fan, as it’d be a horror fan’s dream to see him take charge of an episode or two. However, this is a completely different style than what Romero is known for, so it’s understandable that he isn’t interested. And you can’t help but agree that some episodes certainly are lacking in the undead threat. The Walking Dead, which was just renewed for a fifth season, can be seen on AMC every Sunday night.