I’m not in love with every George Romero film, but I can honestly say that all of his zombie pictures speak to me in one way or another. They either make me very sad or very angry, and usually, both. They’re like the best protest songs, almost – something I can really stomp my foot along to, or pump my fist in the air.
It seems that Romero understands the possibilities of the modern movie zombie* better than anybody – and really, that should be no surprise, seeing as he invented them in the first place – but now, his next picture could be built on another person’s idea of what the zombie metaphor can mean.
As confirmed by Zombie Research, Romero has optioned the rights to Steven Schlozman‘s novel The Zombie Autopsies. They managed to get the following quote from the filmmaker’s camp:
George Romero is excited to be working on a film adaptation of The Zombie Autopsies.
Bam, right on the nose. They do add that Romero and Schlozman is working together though, technically, that has gone unconfirmed.
If you don’t know the book, I can offer you two introductions. Firstly, Schlozman talking about it; secondly, Romero spoiling a number of key plot points to explain what attracted him to the project.
We’ll start with Schlozman:
Nice. And now for naughty, as Romero tells io9 an awful lot what’s going on in the novel’s storyline:
A friend of mine recently wrote a novel called The Zombie Autopsies, and it’s about an isolated group of people doing autopsies on zombies during the zombie apocalypse and trying to figure out what the hell caused this. They come upon this discovery.
The scientists discover that this is not a naturally occurring virus, they deduce that it must have been created by somebody. And they later discover that it was created by people who were trying to topple the economy. So that’s a unique way in to talk about the economy.
Here I go, buying another book because it’s being adapted by a filmmaker I love. So predictable.
Incidentally, Romero has, as counterpoint to the enthusiasm for Autopsies, explained why he turned down a directing gig on The Walking Dead:
I love the books, I haven’t seen any of the episodes. Listen I love Frank [Darabont], I know he’s done a good job. I love the books, I never watched any of the episodes because… my zombies are sort of my own. I didn’t want to be part of it. Producers called and said, “do you want to direct some of these,” and I said no. Because I just didn’t think it was me.
All respect for that.
Right. I’m off to pull a Scott Pilgrim, sit in a lotus and wait patiently for my Amazon delivery. Thankfully, I went for the Kindle option so it should be here any second now…
*That is, the flesh-eating kind, the shambling undead.