After announcing the new zombie series, George Romero’s Empire of the Dead, AMC now has three zombie shows. With the popularity of the zombie genre showing no signs of fading, it’s a “no-brainer” that another zombie series will generate even more interest. As more zombie shows continue to multiply and spread like a zombie plague, is it overkill? How many zombie series can one network have before it is detrimental, like a kill shot right to the head?
Every Sunday night, fans do the zombie shuffle over to their respective favorite couch or chair to watch The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead. Greg Nicotero, one of the executive producers, has stated that he’d love to see a zombie show on every day of the week, which is exactly what zombie fans want as well. According to TV Series Finale, Empire of the Dead cover artist Arthur Suydam was interviewed at the Louisville Wizard World Comic Con, where he announced that the Marvel zombie comic was coming to the small screen. The 15-issue comic mini-series began publication in January of 2014, and wrapped up in August of this year.
“The series that I just finished up is for Marvel Comics. So this is me and George Romero, and this just got signed to AMC, so it’s gonna be the new big zombie series on AMC. It’s expected to be this one right here.”
Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead!
This zombie series will be different than The Walking Dead franchise. Set in a quarantined New York City after a zombie outbreak, humans find themselves not just in a fight against the zombies, but also against a large population of vampires who also inhabit the Big Apple. The story is set years after the events in Romero’s famous 1968 zombie film, Night of the Living Dead, occurred. One of the comic book characters, Dr. Penny Jones, is the younger sister of Barbara Blair.
The character of Barbara generated one of the most famous quotes ever to come out of a zombie movie when her brother Johnny made fun of her fright saying, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.” Fans still repeat that phrase today, especially when trying to scare someone. In the comic, Dr. Jones has the dubious job of working with and researching the zombies. She wants to try and educate zombies so they can co-exist with humans. One zombie in particular known as Xavier, seems to be able to learn and exhibits very human-like qualities, which is unusual for a zombie.
Romero sat down in an interview with Comic Book Resources to talk about how he changed things up with Empire of the Dead. He was asked about the zombies in particular, and how they are different from what fans may be used to. For the purposes of a new zombie series, it will be interesting to see how much of what he created in the comics will transfer over.
“They’re not so different from you and me, except for being dead, of course. They have their own personalities, their own strengths and weaknesses, their own memories of the kind of people they used to be. So what if those memories started to reawaken? The living dead would become even more individualistic. And formidable.”
So when these particular zombies begin to regain their memories, they become much more dangerous than the typical shuffling, moaning, and groaning reanimated corpses everyone is familiar with. Throw into the mix a ruling class of vampires, and the remaining humans have a real problem as they are seen as a basic food group for both zombies and vampires. Unknown to most, including Penny, Chandrake the mayor and many of his law enforcement officers are vampires, but they have problems of their own.
Other vampires believe that Chandrake is hoarding human blood, while they must resort to drinking rat blood. Like the zombies, these creatures are different from the traditional vampire. Sunlight has no effect on them and a stake through the heart doesn’t work. The only way to kill them is by separating the heart, left from right. Like humans, when they die they turn into zombies. They have the ability to charm, or fascinate humans and Penny is (predictably) attracted to Chandrake.
Variety shared that the zombie series will be written by Romero and his collaborator, Peter Grunwald. They will share the title of executive producer with Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson from the production company Demarest, which is developing the zombie series for television. Only time will tell how closely the new zombie show follows the comics.
Are you a fan of zombie shows in general? What do think about AMC acquiring another zombie series? Leave your comments, opinions and thoughts below.
[Photo via My Zombie Culture’s Facebook Page, cropped and resized]