Stephen King is paying tribute to his longtime friend and “favorite” collaborator, George A. Romero. The creator of the iconic Night of the Living Dead franchise has died at age 77, according to the Los Angeles Times. Romero died in his sleep on July 16 after a brief battle with lung cancer. The legendary director passed away to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s The Quiet Man, with his family by his side.
Romero’s longtime friend, writer Stephen King, took to Twitter to say goodbye to the movie icon.
“Sad to hear my favorite collaborator — and good old friend — George Romero has died,” King wrote.
“George, there will never be another like you.”
Stephen King worked with George A. Romero on the 1982 horror anthology Creepshow, which marked the horror writer’s screenwriting debut. Romero directed the film, a five-story anthology that starred big names of the day including Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, and more. Several of the stories depicted in the film were adapted from King’s short stories, but the film ultimately paid homage to the old school EC and DC horror comics from the 1950s. Romero hired effects specialist Tom Savini to create comic-like effects for the horror flick.
Romero and King went on to collaborate on the movies Creepshow 2 (1987) and The Dark Half (1993). In an interview with Electric Sheep magazine, Romero explained how his friendship with King started. The Zombie King revealed that the two were introduced by Warner Bros. executives who thought they’d have a lot in common. The two friends first talked about making a movie adaption of King’s book, The Stand, but the movie project never happened. King reluctantly produced a TV version of the book, but the two eventually joined forces for Creepshow.
Stephen King was lucky to work with George A. Romero for his first feature film screenwriting credit, which stayed true to his short stories while offering a campy comic-book twist. In an interview with the AV Club, Romeo joked that King always made it clear that his books were separate from the movie adaptations.
“Everybody asks Stephen King how he feels about Hollywood ruining his books, and the first thing he says is, ‘The books aren’t ruined. Here they are, on the shelf behind me,'” Romero said.
Here’s Stephen King’s reaction to the death of George A. Romero.
You can see the original Creepshow trailer below.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]