George A. Romero, considered the godfather of the zombie subgenre, is taking his undead franchise on the road, as we first reported back in May.
Similar to how Don Coscarelli passed on the directing duties with the fifth Phantasm, even before his death Romero wasn’t going to direct George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead, this time passing the baton to Matt Birman.
Road of the Dead takes place six years after 2005’s post-apocalyptic Land of the Dead and is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day Coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans.
“In the darkest days of the zombie apocalypse, the last safe place on earth is anything but, as a mad despot uses the spectacle of high octane carnage to keep control of his populous.”
Birman describes the project as Road Warrior meets Rollerball at a Nascar race, with significant inspiration from Ben-Hur.
Birman is the perfect choice to continue Romero’s legacy as he was the second unit director on several “of the dead” films, including Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.
Romero co-wrote the screenplay with Birman who both produce with Matt Manjourides and Justin Martell.
ScreenDaily reports filming is gearing up with The Witch, Patti Cake$ and Pyewacket producer JoBro Productions & Film Finance and EMAfilms (Radius, Turbo Kid) on board as producers with Elle Driver, Birman, Manjourides and Martell taking executive producer credits.
The production features a number of other Romero collaborators, notably special make-up effects creator Greg Nicotero, co-founder of the Oscar-winning special effects group KNB EFX Group and co-executive producer, supervisor and occasional director on The Walking Dead.