Much like the title characters in his [Insert Word] of the Dead movies, the films of zombie king George A. Romero show no sign of resting in peace, and the director—whose latest, Survival of the Dead, opens this month—promises at least two more after that, assuming Survival does well. (Spoilers ahead!)
In Survival of the Dead, the National Guardsman Sarge (Alan Van Sprang from Diary of the Dead) becomes the lead character, and the story moves to Plum Island off the coast of Delaware, where two families are locked in a struggle for power. The O'Flynns, headed by patriarch Patrick (Kenneth Welsh), approach the zombie plague with a shoot-to-kill attitude. The Muldoons, headed by Shamus (Richard Fitzpatrick), feel that the zombies should be quarantined and kept alive.
The production company, Artfire Films, wants Romero to make two more zombie films, and Romero told us that he already has ideas for the sequels.
"Well, I don't want to give away secrets, but basically they both spin out of Diary," Romero said in an exclusive interview last week in Hollywood. "One of them, there's a group of African-American looters, a band of looters, that they run into in that film. That would be one. Then there's the blonde, she's actually one of the principals, but she gets away in the end. She would be sort of my clean-up hitter."
Romero has already made three zombie films in a row, Land of the Dead, Diary and Survival, and is happy to do more. "If this film does well enough to warrant it, I would think of it almost as a vacation," Romero said. "'OK, this is what I'm doing for the next year and a half.' That would be fine with me. I would be able to relax behind that, and I think feel freer to work on the other ideas or develop them more without any sense of 'Gee, I need a job.'"
There are two more non-zombie-film ideas Romero is developing, which he could make after finishing another zombie quadrilogy, or do next if Survival fizzles at the box office. "Well, we have a horror idea which is non-zombie. It's a bit of a demon thing, but not really. It's sort of playing with the demon aspects, playing with the idea of a demon the way I played with a vampire [in Martin]. Is it in the head or not? Is it all in your head, or is there something really outside the door? Then I have this little people story that I also think I could do, on low enough money that I think I could finance it and get some old buddies to maybe appear in it."
Survival of the Dead opens May 28.
Are you up for more Romero zombie movies?