Today, Hollywood is gathering to mourn the loss of a cinematic legend. George A. Romero passed away at the age of 77 on Sunday according to The LA Times.
Earlier today, Romero’s longtime producing partner Peter confirmed the filmmaker passed in his sleep. Romero died following “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer” according to Peter Gunwald. The visionary passed away while listening to a score from one of his favorite film’s while his wife Suzanne and daughter Tina were at his side. According to The Times, Romero was listening to the score from The Quiet Man a la 1952.
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If you are not familiar with Romero’s name, then you will have surely heard of his work. The director is credited with jump-starting the zombie genre as he developed the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead with co-writer John A. Russo. The film went on to inspire scores of directors such as John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper thanks to its impactful low-budget horror. Other entertainment powerhouses like Seth Grahame-Green, Robert Kirkman, and Edgar Wright have also credited Romero has a source of inspiration for their own works.
Night of the Living Dead continues to live on his pop culture fame as knock-offs continue to be spun from it. Romero also put in work on sequels like Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.
Outside of the Living Dead franchise, Romero worked on other projects which his fans have rallied around. Romero wrote or directed for The Crazies, Knightriders, and episodes of the TV documentary The Winners. The icon’s final credit as a writer was for Day of the Dead in 2017.
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Despite Romero's sudden passing, fans of the legend could see more of his work come to TV in coming years. According to zombie artist Arthur Suydam, Empire of the Dead could be coming to AMC if all things work out. The horror comic, which is set in New York, is a fan-favorite and would fit in well with the network's current focus on all things undead. Suydam told crowds at Wizard World Louisville that AMC had just signed off on the series and that "it's going to be the next, big zombie series on AMC." Right now, there is no word on when the series may be brought to the small screen, but horror enthusiasts will look forward to seeing Romero's work honored posthumously by AMC as the show gets underway.