The father of the modern zombie film might have his final statement on the genre finished from beyond the grave. Those circumstances are incredibly sad, but also gruesomely poetic.
Before iconic filmmaker George A. Romero died in 2017, he was reportedly working on a new film called Twilight of the Dead. Romero saw it as his final goodbye to the genre he himself created all the way back in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, and continued in the subsequent decades. He saw the films as having one overarching thematic narrative, which was going to culminate in Twilight of the Dead. But then, of course, he passed away due to lung cancer at age 77.
Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Romero’s widow, Suzanne Romero, is looking for directors to helm Twilight of the Dead, which is based on a screenplay she’s been quietly overseeing for the last few years written by Paolo Zelati, Joe Knetter, and Robert L. Lucas. Zelati actually wrote a treatment with George before his passing and approached Suzanne for permission to continue, which she granted.
“I gave him my full blessing as long as I could be there every step of the way for it to remain true to George’s vision,” Suzanne Romero told THR. “We had a solid treatment and the beginning of the script. I can 100 per cent say that George would be incredibly happy to see this continue. He wanted this to be his final stamp on the zombie genre.”
According to Zelati, Twilight’s roots came from the question “Where do the zombies go at the end of Land of the Dead?” That’s because, though Romero made Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead after Land of the Dead, the director saw those two as separate from his overall vision, which included 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead and 2005’s Land of the Dead.
The longline for Twilight is as follows: “The story is set in a decimated world. Life has all but disappeared. But there still may be hope for humanity.” That definitely sounds intriguing. Plus, you have to think with the literal generations of filmmakers Romero influenced with his work, finding a director eager to contribute to his final legacy and vision should not be difficult. The difficult part would be choosing the right one.