If anyone deserves to come back from the dead and shamble around aimlessly while screaming for brains to eat, it’s George Romero.
But since necromancy isn’t a real thing, we’ll make due if the Night Of The Living Dead writer-director returns in spirit, if not actuality.
Entertainment Weekly reveals that the horror legend had been working on a novel titled The Living Dead for about 10 years before he shuffled loose the mortal coil in 2017. Presuming Romero wouldn’t want his work to stay buried, as was his predilection in life, his wife and his manager tapped author Daniel Kraus to reanimate The Living Dead and unleash it upon the human population.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea that this is some sort of cynical cash grab, let us establish that Romero did a ton of work on The Living Dead before he joined the ranks of the regular dead. Like, a whooooole lot.
“It’s huge,” Kraus tells EW. “It’s a massively scaled story, a real epic, the kind no one ever gave him the budget for in film. In a book, of course, there is no budget, and in his pages you can feel his joy of being able, at last, to do every single thing he wanted.”
Kraus sounds like he’s going balls-to-the-wall with this project. The way he describes it, polishing off The Living Dead — some of which Romero left virtually ready for the presses, some of which needed some fleshing out — is only 50 percent of the undertaking.
“The other half is putting George back together, in a sense,” Kraus continues. “Not just from reading his every obscure interview and analyzing his every obscure work, but also immersing myself in the art that he loved. I’m studying his favorite movies, watching his favorite operas, listening to his favorite music, all in an attempt to find in them the inspirations he might have found.”
Upon the release of The Living Dead, Romero joins the ranks of David Foster Wallace, Vladimir Nobokov, and other literary giants whose unfinished works were completed and published after their respective deaths. I’m not saying I expect The Living Dead to be essentially Infinite Jest except with zombies, but I am saying I really, really hope that’s the case.