Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Movie News: Dead heads.

More news from the "nerd prom," as people seem to be dubbing the Comic Con International in San Diego. Comic Book Resources has an article on a panel discussion with George Romero and J. Michael Straczynski.

Most of the article focuses on Romero and his upcoming Diary of the Dead. He's pitching it a prequel of sorts, saying that it locks into the "of the Dead" continuity at the beginning of the zombie outbreak. This seems a little odd to me as the "of the Dead" films supposed that the flesh-eaters start their reign of terror in 1968 and the new film will be shot in handcam digital-video first-person perspective (think Blair Witch with a more pixilated vibe).

Romero revealed that the style of the film will take a different approach from any of the previous films. Shot entirely on subjective camera and security camera footage, "Diary of the Dead" will follow the story of a group of college students experiencing the first night of a zombie breakout. "That's what this one is, it's about a bunch of college kids that were out doing a school project when the shit hits the fan."

When asked what inspired the premise behind "Diary," Romero explained that he makes his movies based on what he sees in today's world. "'Land' is about the Bush Administration basically," Romero said. "And 'Diary' is about YouTube."

Romero also discusses how little he's actually made off the "Dead" flicks – a bit of a cautionary tale for up-and-coming horror filmmakers.

On the subject of money, Romero revealed that he rarely sees the profits his films produce. From losing the copyright to "Night of the Living Dead" to companies selling the rights to his movies to themselves, Romero doesn't receive very many royalties. Surprisingly okaywith that, Romero explained that even if he had all the money in the world, it wouldn't change how he made his movies. "I'll make ‘em as long as I'm standing," he told the convention goers.

Even though Romero is heralded as the man who created the zombie genre, that wasn't his intent when he made "Night of the Living Dead." Originally, he was simply looking for an extraordinary event to happen to mankind that he could use to push his characters to the edge. The original title of the movie was simply "Night of the Flesh Eaters" until it was later changed.

"And that's how we lost the copyright," Romero said.

Straczynski, producer and writer for such television shows as He-Man, Murder, She Wrote, and Babylon 5, gets some copy near the end, mainly about his in-progress adaptation of the novel World War Z.

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