It’s been almost 50 years since George A. Romero released his genre-defining first zombie picture, Night of the Living Dead. And the horror maestro yet still finds life in those rambling, shambling corpses. Thus enter George Romero Presents: Road of the Dead, the latest entry in his zombie series that appears poised to take the walking dead off road.
Indeed, the project was announced Friday with plans to take it to July’s Fantasia International Film Festival where it will be looking for co-production financing. The film is being sold as a direct continuation of Romero’s last few zombie movies, which includes Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead. However, Road of the Dead would not actually be directed by Romero. He will produce the project, which he also co-wrote with Matt Birman, the latter of whom will be taking on directorial duties after acting as second unit director on all three of the aforementioned films.
The film is from an idea Birman apparently pitched Romero way back after Land of the Dead (2005). In this conceit, there is an island in that familiar post-zombie apocalypse landscape where human survivors use and abuse zombie prisoners as entertainment. To be exact, the zombies perform as race car drivers in a “modern day” Coliseum for the amusement of rich, living patrons. The film is being described as part Road Warrior, part Rollerball by way of Nascar, and even part Ben-Hur.
We’ll see if it revs its way to screens soon.