George Romero has indicated before that he’s not really a fan of The Walking Dead, but he now blames it, plus the commercial success of World War Z, for his inability to get a zombie film off the ground himself [So nothing to do with the fact that your own zombie films had been getting worse George?]. As he said to Indiewire:
“I can’t pitch a modest little zombie film, which is meant to be sociopolitical. I used to be able to pitch them on the basis of the zombie action, and I could hide the message inside that. Now, you can’t. The moment you mention the word ‘zombie,’ it’s got to be, ‘Hey, Brad Pitt paid $400 million to do that'”.
“I had a sequel to Survival of the Dead. I was ready to shoot. In 2007, Diary of the Dead all of a sudden made money and one of the producers said, ‘Let’s make another one quick’. Diary of the Dead talked about how social media is haunting us today. I didn’t have anything else to talk about. So I decided to go back to the original premise of misunderstanding and people not being able to see each other’s point of view.I said I’ll do this one as a western and the next one as a noir. So I did the western, nobody liked it, and the other one fell away”.
“Then, all of a sudden, here came The Walking Dead. So you can’t make a zombie film that has any sort of substance. It had to be a zombie film with just zombies wreaking havoc. That’s not what I’m about.”
Considering how awful Survival of the Dead was, I’m not sure that it’s really a bad thing that Romero can’t make a new zombie movie, and this is coming from someone who is of the opinion that his Dawn of the Dead is still the zombie film to beat. In the meantime, The Walking Dead, despite some complaints about excessive violence and gore [for god’s sake it’s a zombie series!], is riding higher than ever, the show’s highly-anticipated season 7 opener registering a record 1.4million viewers on FOX UK.