Cameron Romero, son of the late George Romero, has announced that he is set to create a prequel to his father’s zombie films.
The younger Romero has been pushing for this project since 2014, when he managed to raise $30,000 through crowdfunding. He has called the film “a love letter to my dad.”
George Romero, who died on July 16 of this year, made 15 movies over the course of a career that lasted 40 years. His most lasting influence is certainly with his zombie movies, however. Beginning in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, he moved on to Dawn of the Dead in 1978, then Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead.
While not all are beloved by fans, the first two especially created the modern concept of the zombie. Although the term existed before—in Haitian folklore it refers to a corpse that a voodoo practitioner resurrects to serve as a slave—Romero invented virtually everything that the average viewer knows about the genre: the very concept of them eating people, the shambling, the mass rise of thousands or more at once, and so on. His depictions vary in form and theme, but virtually every version of zombies in popular culture since can trace their roots to Night of the Living Dead.
According to Cameron Romero, the new film had the working title of simply Origins, but will now be called Rise of the Living Dead. It will focus on scientist Ryan Cartwright and be set in late 1962, before the events of Night of the Living Dead. After the Cuban Missile Crisis almost brought nuclear annihilation, Cartwright is tasked with finding a way to restore the dead to life. In the process, he will accidentally bring about the first zombie and cause a very different kind of apocalypse.