Even when I was watching The Walking Dead (which I haven’t for two seasons, and I don’t regret leaving it behind), I felt the slightest bit of idiotic indignation. Why? Because the zombies and general setup of the show is so indebted to George A. Romero’s specific creations, and to never acknowledge this seems like a dick move. The Walking Dead doesn’t feel like its inspired by Romero’s Dead films, it feels like its a blatant snatch-and-grab of the idea. Of course, Romero himself has said that his biggest gripe with The Walking Dead (which he was asked to direct an episode at one point) isn’t that it’s a ripoff of the worlds he created, but that the show’s zombies don’t represent anything. They are just obstacles for the characters to overcome, whereas Romero’s zombies were always used in service to some kind of social commentary.
Regardless of all that, it seems that some of the suits over at AMC realized that they couldn’t have afforded their swimming pools full of cocaine if not for the films that George A. Romero created. So, they had the bright idea to give Romero his own zombie show.
Empire of the Dead was a limited comic series that Romero wrote for Marvel, and it looks like it will now be turned into a TV show for AMC, a network who is eager to find more success with adaptations of non-superhero comic book properties. Having not read the series, I can’t say much about its prospects on television, but I have to wonder if viewers will be confused by having two zombie shows on the same network that aren’t part of the same universe. I’m all for it, but most people are dumb and easily befuddled.
One thing that seems to set Empire of the Dead apart is that it also features vampires. Seeing as how Romero’s vampire film Martin is one of the best vampire movies ever, I’m thoroughly intrigues to see how he’d tackle vampires in a post-Twilight world.
But at the end of the day, all that should matter is that Romero is getting his due from AMC. I wish the show all the luck in the world because it’s going to need it. The Walking Dead is a shambling homunculus that has somehow enraptured more viewers than it has any right to. Romero will be going against a juggernaut of a show, but you can bet I’ll be tuning in. In fact, can anyone out there sell me on reading the comic series?
Source: Bloody Disgusting
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