When George Romero directed his 1968 horror classic, Night of the Living Dead, Romero didn't think he would be starting a "zombie" craze that would last for decades. In fact, Romero didn't think of his undead creatures as zombies at all, initially titling his debut work as Night of the Flesh-Eaters, When the title card to the movie was changed, the copyright symbol was not included, placing Romero's seminal work into the public domain and the source for several remakes.
Romero collaborator and special make-up effects artist Tom Savini made a respectable remake in 1990, while an unrespectable 3-D remake followed in 2006. A variety of animators combined to make Night of the Living Dead Reanimated in 2009, leaving comic book graphic artist turned movie director Zebediah de Soto to bring the latest remake, a 3-D, CGI-animated Night of the Living Dead: Origins. De Soto has described the movie as "American-style anime" that will be "an homage" to Romero's original. Origins will move the action to New York City, which de Soto explained was done so there could be "a larger body count" but also so that he could make "an epic zombie movie." So, what are the origins? >> Posted 08.23.10 by Ryan
Danielle Harris is getting some help fighting off the zombie hordes in writer-director Zebediah De Soto's "re-imagining" of George Romero's horror classic Night of the Living Dead, titled Night of the Living Dead: Origins.
THR reports that Bill Moseley (1990's Night of the Living Dead), Joe Pilato (Romero's Day of the Dead), Alona Tal (Supernatural), Jesse Corti (Heroes) and Cornell Womack (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) will join the previously cast Harris to do voice work on the CGI-animated movie. Moseley will play Johnny, Harris' brother, while Pilato and Tal will play the voice of the Coopers, the couple who argue to stay in the basement in Romero's original. Corti will play a no-nonsense New York cop and Womack a news reporter.
Moseley and Pilato's ties to Romero are no coincidence, and De Soto calls the casting "a nod to Romero fans. Horror is a genre and zombie movies are a subgenre that people have been following for years and years." However, De Soto has plans to make his Night of the Living Dead different from the original.
I wanted to make this look like a living Monet; it's expressionism. It's going to be the first zombie movie played on a epic scale. This is the Empire of the Sun of zombie films. I lived through the L.A. riots and saw the city on fire; I remember seeing people running, people getting pulled out of cars. And with 9/11, these images have been ingrained on people of my generation. I just thought that is the way it would really be, a lot of chaos.
Mos Def has also been rumored as another addition to the cast, but no confirmation has been made. Posted 12.05.09 by Ryan
Writer-director Zebediah De Soto isn't the first person to remake Night of the Living Dead, he's just the latest. When George Romero created his zombie classic in 1968, copyright indications were left off of prints, putting the movie into public domain, which is why the movie has been subject to so many revisions and remakes.
Make-up effects guru Tom Savini remade the movie in color in 1990. A low-budget 3-D version was made in 2006, and now De Soto wants to make a CGI-heavy Night of the Living Dead, again in 3-D, that he describes as an "American-style anime." De Soto tried to settle the fears of zombie fans concerned with yet another remake in an interview with ShockTillYouDrop, explaining that his "expansion" of the original will not destroy what Romero originally created.
I know so many people get pissed off about this movie being redone again, but it's not the same regurgitated bulls**t. We're taking this seriously. I loved Romero's movie and there are so many people out there raping it to death, I didn't want to be next in line to the gang bang. But I really wanted to do something that was a little creative but an homage to what he was doing. I want to see a zombie movie on the scale of [the Max Brooks novel] World War Z and the only thing I changed in terms of the terrain is that we go into New York City. This is a post-9/11 world we live in and how would people react to this if it really happened? How would they respond? For me, one of the things missing from zombie films is effects done on a level no one has ever seen before like Spider-Man or The Hulk. Those effects applied to a zombie film.
And how will the effects De Soto use impact the outcome?
[Origins] lends itself more to the movie 9 in that I want this to look like a living painting. The only thing that ever came close to that idea is Zack Snyder's 300 but this is a bit more stylized than that. I originally came from comic books and I was a graphic artist for nine or ten years. I always wanted to see something like this.
The considerable amount of CGI might help De Soto pull off some of his ideas for the movie.
I want to see a helicopter clipping its propeller on a building and careening into a crowd of people. Zombies going through the streets. A thousand people tearing each other apart, zombies tearing them apart, total chaos. [In the original] they were always describing these really big scenes, like Ben says a truck is chased down by a horde of zombies. I always wished I could have seen that.
De Soto has already cast Danielle Harris as Barbara, and is close to bringing in Mos Def to play Ben. De Soto says they have made the actor an offer and are waiting to hear back. "We'll see," said De Soto.
Night of the Living Dead: Origins is currently in production. De Soto and producer Simon West are eying a 2010 release date. Posted 10.05.09 by Ryan
According to Shocktillyoudrop.com, Danielle Harris (Halloween II) has been cast in Night of the Living Dead: Origins, an expansion of George A. Romero's 1968 landmark horror movie. Harris left a message on her Twitter feed announcing she had landed one of the principle female roles.
The new movie, due in 2011, will apparently be a 3-D version that expands upon the original characters. Zebediah de Soto, who co-wrote the script and will be in the director's chair, is calling it "an American-style anime."
Okay, we're not sure what that means. We're also not sure why Romero's classic needs yet another remake, especially by someone with no features to his credit. But we'll just have to wait and see what the final product is like. Posted 09.28.09 by reelz