It's Official - Land of the Dead gets the go-ahead
16th Jul 04
Variety have now confirmed that George Romero's fourth part of his zombie trilogy, Land of the Dead (formally Dead Reckoning, formerly Twilight of the Dead, formerly Dusk of the.. oh, you get the idea) is going ahead, which is just about the coolest news any zombie fan can get.
Although this means that Diamond Dead is effectively on hold until at least spring next year, there can really be no better news than seeing the Zombie Godfather return to his roots and continue the development of the films that made his name.
Set a few years after the events in Day of the Dead, Land.. shows a future in which the zombies have taken over the world and those left alive are confined to a walled-in city that keeps out the undead. Anarchy rules the streets, while the wealthy live in fortified skyscrapers.
The script revolves around a group of scavengers who must thwart an attempt to overthrow the city while the dead are evolving from brainless slow-moving creatures into more advanced creatures.
Romero's own script, is being co-financed by Atmosphere Entertainment and Paris-based Wild Bunch and will be produced by Atmosphere chairman-CEO Mark Canton and prexy Bernie Goldmann, along with Romero's partner Peter Grunwald of Romero Grunwald Prods. Atmosphere's Steve Barnett is exec producer.
Production will begin in October in Winnipeg or Pittsburgh (a return to the filming locations of the original Night of the Living Dead.
There is no official distributor on board as yet, but the two companies have the ability to cover the budget themselves and expect to land at least a US domestic distributor before the film completes shooting this autumn. The budget is reportedly in the teens (millions), which is by far the biggest bidget Romero has ever had to work with.
"People ask me why I've waited so long to do another 'Dead' film," Romero said. "I made one in the '60s, one in the '70s and one in the '80s. The only reason I missed the '90s is because I wanted to stay faithful to the tradition while coming up with something new."
Sounds very much like the right approach is being taken, and we can only hope that this breaks the 'fourth film is crap' tradition set by such films as Batman and Robin, Alien: Resurrection and Lethl Weapon 4. If anyone can do it, Romero can. Bring it on George...