George A. Romero’s Final Zombie Movie ‘Twilight Of The Dead’ Moving Ahead With Backing From Roundtable Entertainment; Production Details Revealed Ahead Of Planned 2023 Start
EXCLUSIVE: George A. Romero’s “final zombie movie” Twilight Of The Dead has got fresh impetus with backing from Roundtable Entertainment and a planned late 2023 start date in Puerto Rico.
The George A. Romero estate is teaming up with LA-based financier-producer Roundtable on the “seventh and final instalment” of the seminal Living Dead franchise.
Horror icon Romero had written a treatment for the movie before he passed in 2017 and regarded Twilight Of The Dead as the conclusion to his epic saga, which comprised six movies and various spinoffs and remakes. The project was first revealed in 2021 but things have been quiet since then.
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The script is now finished, having been taken on by Joe Knetter, Robert Lucas, and Paolo Zelati, who also worked on the treatment with Romero.
Set on a tropical island, we’re told Twilight Of The Dead will “delve into the dark nature of humanity from the perspective of the last humans on earth who are caught between factions of the undead”. True to the Romero oeuvre, it is being framed by the producers as “thought-provoking sociopolitical commentary wrapped in a genre piece”.
Romero’s 2005 movie Land Of The Dead introduced Big Daddy, an intelligent zombie leader, whose fate is left an open question at the end of that pic. The movie took $20M stateside for Universal and close to $50M globally.
The production team on Twilight Of The Dead, which includes the late filmmaker’s last wife and estate manager Suzanne Romero, is in negotiations with a director, and was in talks with cast before the SAG-AFTRA strike hit. They are applying for an interim agreement.
The team also tells us they haven’t closed the door on the possibility of additional movies in a new franchise should this one go well.
Producing on Twilight Of The Dead are Suzanne Romero, John Baldecchi, Sarah Donnelly, Paolo Zelati and Ardvella Entertainment’s Stephanie Caleb, with executive producers set as Dominic Ianno, Alex Dundas, Jason Resnick, Chris Roe, and Luis Riefkohl.
Suzanne Romero said today: “I’m delighted to be joining forces with Roundtable to bring the eerie evolution of Romero’s universe to the screen. Roundtable impressed me with their long-term and deep love of George’s work. I believe they have the vision to produce the best version of this movie that honors the Romero legacy. I can’t wait to start filming!”
Roundtable’s Head of Scripted John Baldecchi (The Mexican) added: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside Suzanne, Paolo, and Stephanie to bring the final instalment of this epic series. It is the perfect ending to one of the greatest horror legacies of all time, with a powerful and timely message about how humanity is the cause of its own destruction, over and over and over again. There is a lot of excitement in the creative community to be involved and we’ll be making decisions on that shortly”.
Romero is considered one of the godfathers of the horror genre and famously created Night Of The Living Dead, the 1968 zombie classic that launched the genre that has nourished Hollywood ever since in countless zombie movies and series like The Walking Dead.
The Romero estate isn’t involved in the unnamed MGM sequel to Night Of The Living Dead [now public domain] which is in development with Nikyatu Jusu (Nanny) attached to direct.
Our update on Twilight Of The Dead comes soon after an injection of capital into Roundtable. We can reveal today that the company has recently had Series B funding from participants including investment management firm Klingenstein Fields, former Netflix exec Sean Carey, Black Rock executive Jason Ridloff, and Orchid Ventures principal Kim Bangash. Kevin Khanna has joined the company’s Board of Directors.
Klingenstein Fields also led the company’s Series A round, which included an equity swap with Cineverse.
Roundtable was launched 18 months ago by Dominic Ianno, John Baldecchi, Griffin Gmelich, and Alex Dundas. Projects in development include Gary Fleder pic Sacrament. The company is in production on Gavin Rossdale TV series E.A.T and is in post-production on horror All My Friends Are Dead, starring Jade Pettyjohn and JoJo Siwa. Roundtable was an associate producer on Mia McKenna Bruce pic Kindling.
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