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The Walking Dead’s Greg Nicotero to Make Movie about the Making of ‘Night Of The Living Dead’

Published on July 22nd, 2022 | Updated on July 22nd, 2022 | By FanFest

As hordes of Comic-Con attendees dressed as zombies mill around, The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero has teamed up with Monster Agency Productions and Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic to make a movie about the making of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. This classic horror movie was made on a budget of around $115,000 and spawned an entire genre of zombie movies.

Nicotero has worked with George A. Romero since the 1980s, and Nicotero’s work on The Walking Dead has helped him to earn a lot of money in the film, television, and video game industries. Nicotero has helmed 39 episodes of The Walking Dead, including the series finale which he is still working on. Even though Nicotero works in the horror genre frequently, he credits much of his expertise to his time working on Romero’s films.

Nicotero told Deadline that the idea for the film came after he went to a memorial for George A. Romero, who passed away in 2017. During that event, he heard his old friends discuss the making of his legendary movie. The notion that this Pittsburgh team of ad and industrial filmmakers could produce such an iconic horror picture on their first shot still floors Nicotero.

“They really had no experience,” he said. “One of the actors was the makeup artist. It was this bunch who’d shot a couple commercials, sitting around saying, ‘Hey, we should make a movie.’ And someone in the group said, ‘Yes, let’s make a horror movie. They always make money.’ I love that spirit of a group of people getting together who had no real idea what they were doing and fumbling their way through.”

“They found this rickety old farmhouse in Pennsylvania,” he said. “One of the interesting things to me is, when you watch the movie, it has this sense of film noir because of the way the lighting is. A lot of that is, they just didn’t have money to afford a lot of lights. So they created a very unique lighting style for a lot of scenes, which played into the motif of what Night of the Living Dead is about. Even when they struck the prints to distribute, they used cheap film stock, so there was a lot of contrast. Everything that was black went black and everything white went really white. That added to this weird noir film vibe of, what’s going to come out of the darkness and get me? It was a perfect storm of events with a group that loved working together and rolled up their sleeves.”

The cemetery has been a pilgrimage site for Nicotero, who recalled the opening scene in which a zombie appears out of nowhere to interrupt two siblings as they lay flowers on their parents’ graves. Simon Pegg and Quentin Tarantino have visited him there to stand where Romero shot the film’s start. The old farmhouse had already been demolished. “It’s not like Poltergeist, where they relocated headstones; the graveyard is exactly as it was when they left,” he added.

After the Romero memorial, where his friends recalled the antics on the set and Romero’s eccentric tics – “he would wear a cape to go out with friends, dressed as Zapata from Viva Zapata, and he had no game with the girls” – Nicotero had the idea for the film he will direct.

They have the necessary rights and are working with Suzanne DesRocher-Romero, Romero’s widow. They will be going out to writers immediately.

“What I want to do is an Ed Wood-style movie that shows the heart and character of this guy, with the backdrop this Magnificent Seven version of a bunch who had no f*cking idea of what they were doing, getting together to make Night of the Living Dead.”

He will shoot the re-created scenes from the original film in black and white. The other scenes will be shot in color so that people can see how things like melted chocolate looked.

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