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George A. Romero On ‘World War Z’: “They Butchered [The Zombies]”

World War Z

Since George A. Romero technically gave birth to the “zombie,” it’s always interesting to hear his take on the modern undead craze.

Back in 2013, Romero publicly scrutinized AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” calling it “a soap opera with a zombie occasionally.”

Now, in a new interview with THR, he takes a shot at Brad Pitt’s World War Z.

Besides, Romero is no fan of ‘The Walking Dead,’ the hottest zombie fare on TV, or VFX-driven zombie tentpoles. “Brad Pitt was the guy that took the big bite with ‘World War Z,’ and butchered it basically…. The zombies were like army ants. It was like the remake of ‘The Naked Jungle,’ ” he said, recalling Byron Haskin’s 1954 film about a plantation overrun by a giant column of army ants that starred Charlton Heston.

You have to lost Romero’s honesty on the subject, and others. For instance, he’s never wanted to be part of the “Hollywood Mafia,” as he calls it.

Romero’s need for the creative control and innovation not possible in network TV comes from the zombie godfather long having shunned working or living in Hollywood. “I’ve stay away from Hollywood as far as possible. I made all my movies in Pittsburgh or Toronto. I’m not comfortable. I’ve never looked for a big project,” he said.

That meant being a wayward indie maverick outside the studio system, along with other industry pioneers like John Waters and actor-turned-producer and director Tony Bill (‘The Sting’). “There was that whole Hollywood mafia — [Martin] Scorsese and [Brian] De Palma. I respect them all, and I respect many of the films they made, but it’s not my cup of tea. I didn’t want to be a Hollywood guy,” Romero says.

He adds that working outside Los Angeles came in part from career success often proving fleeting in Tinseltown. “What happened to Bob Evans, or to Tony Bill? They were hot for a while, and just like everything else in Hollywood, all of a sudden you’re yesterday’s pizza,” Romero said.

Back in June it was reported that Romero would be scripting “Empire Of The Dead,” an adaptation of the 15-issue comic series that not only focused on the zombie plague but also introduced vampires into the mix. It took place mainly in New York City.



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