The list of films that George Romero wanted to make but never actually did is astonishingly long, though that’s really worth a whole new article in itself. At the time of his passing this past weekend, Romero was preparing a new zombie film called Road Of The Dead to financiers at Frontières. Romero co-wrote it with Matt Birman, who was second unit director on his previous three films, and who was intended to direct the film with Romero producing. Birman still intends to get it made. As he said to Indiewire:
Road Of The Dead now becomes a legacy film. We won’t only be making the film for him, it will also be with him. He will be by my side and in my ear for the rest of my career, I have no doubt. I will protect and maintain the legacy and integrity of both the artist and the man. He was a no-bullshit, super honest, tell-it-like-it-is man and I will always continue in that tradition.”
As Romero described it, this one certainly sounds good:
It’s s”et in a sanctuary city where this fat cat runs a haven for rich folks, and one of the things that he does is stage drag races to entertain them. There’s a scientist there doing genetic experiments, trying to make the zombies stop eating us, and he has discovered that with a little tampering, they can recall certain memory skills that enable them to drive in these races. So it’s a demolition derby with zombies at the wheels, and of course the shit hits the fan in other ways. It’s really a romp; it’s great fun, with stunts galore.”
Hoping to secure financing at Frontières, Birman plans to prep Road Of The Dead in the spring of 2018, shoot it next summer, and have it ready in time for Halloween. But it’s not the only Romero project he plans to bring to the screen. Although he didn’t reveal titles, Birman says that Romero had completed the screenplays for four films he hoped to make after Road Of The Dead Birman co-wrote one of those screenplays with him, two of them are based on novels and two are original stories. Only one of those completed screenplays is a zombie project, and it’s a comedy. Birman told IndieWire that:
“I will stop at nothing to get them made! For Romero and with him. He said to me, ‘Let’s get Road done so we can get on to the other stuff!'”
Romero wrote a very large number of screenplays throughout his whole career which he wasn’t able to film, so even having just five of them turned into films seems like a fitting tribute to the man.