George A Romero is considered by many to be the father of modern zombies, so it seems fitting (and about time) that he should bring one of his stories to television, which is exactly what Mr. Romero plans to do with Empire of the Dead.
Long known for creating particularly gory zombie films like Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Night of the Living Dead (1968), Mr. Romero has recently been delving into the comic book venue with his Empire of the Dead graphic novels. Working with artist Alex Maleev and in association with Marvel Comics, Mr. Romero has created the 15-issue graphic novel series Empire of the Dead, which tells the story of human survival years after the initial outbreak that brought about the zombie apocalypse.
In Empire of the Dead, we find that humans in different areas deal with the outbreak in different ways. The story focuses on Manhattan, however, where the island has been quarantined zombie zone. While the zombies there seem to be contained for the most part, the story in Empire of the Dead tells of the zombies developing intelligence, which ultimately poses a threat to those beyond the barriers of the island. Meanwhile, another threat drives mankind even further into hiding: vampires.
Demarest, a production-finance company, has shown interest in developing Empire of the Dead for television, according to announcements made at the Cannes Film Festival. George Romero and Peter Grunwald will write and executive produce the series in conjunction with Demarest's Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson.
"We're very excited to team up with Demarest on a project we've loved from the beginning," Grunwald said in a press release. "The story has taken us to some new and unexpected places, and we can't wait to bring it alive on screen."
Sam Englebardt of Damarest is equally enthusiastic about the project.
"Demarest is thrilled to bring more of George's unique vision to screens everywhere, because he's truly the one who started it all. I am also particularly pleased to be collaborating with George and Peter again, following our success with Diary of the Dead."
There is still much unanswered about Empire of the Dead's specifics, including whether it will be a long-running series, like The Walking Dead, or a limited event like the upcoming X-Files revival. Empire of the Dead also has yet to find a network willing to air the show.
[Featured image: Empire of the Dead courtesy of Marvel Comics/Alex Maleev]