He’s already taken on vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive, the 2014 slow-burner about the ennui of world-weary immortals who only truly feel anything when they satisfy their craving for blood. Now it looks as though iconic indie director Jim Jarmusch may be turning his attention to another horror staple: zombies.
Jarmusch was reportedly spotted on a location set in Fleischmanns, New York this week with a basketful of celebrities in full costume: Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Adam Driver, and Chloe Sevigny, to name a few. Murray, Driver, and Sevigny all were kitted out in police officer gear, while Gomez and actor Austin Butler were spotted in blood-soaked T-shirts. British tabloid The Daily Mail first published the set photos.
Jarmusch has kept quiet about his next project, which comes on the heels of another collaboration with Driver, Amazon Studios’ 2016 movie Paterson. But Murray, who’s also worked with Jarmusch on The Limits of Control (2009), Broken Flowers (2005), and Coffee and Cigarettes (2004) told The Philadelphia Inquirer last month that he’d been cast in Jarmusch’s next project — and that it was, in fact, a zombie movie.
“I’ve got a good job coming up. Brace yourself: It’s a zombie movie,” Murray said. ”Jim Jarmusch has written a zombie script that’s so hilarious and it has a cast of great actors: Rosie Perez, Daniel Craig. It’s titled The Dead Don’t Die, and it shoots over the summer. But, no, I will not play a zombie.”
While the set photos don’t appear to confirm Perez’ or Craig’s participation, they do seem to gel with Murray’s other points (though we’re a little sad that his police officer may not get a chance to shuffle among the film’s undead.) Variety is reporting that the movie's title indeed is The Dead Don't Die, though The Film Stage reports the title as Kill the Head.
While he’s done overt comedy in the past (Down By Law, Coffee and Cigarettes), humor pervades the margins of nearly all of Jarmusch’s films. With vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive, it came in the most subtle of ways — mostly from bloodsucker Tom Hiddleston’s deadpan exasperation as he suffered the many fools around him. If his next movie gives the zombie genre (and the assembled talent) Jarmusch’s unique comedic touch, it could breathe new life into another well-worn horror trope that just can’t seem to stay (un)dead.