Night of the Living Dead Making-Of Movie in the Works, Greg Nicotero to Direct

The story of Night of the Living Dead will be told in an upcoming scripted film about the making of the movie. Per Deadline, it was announced that a new making-of film about the classic zombie movie from 1968 is in development from Greg Nicotero’s Monster Agency Productions and Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic. Nicotero is someone who has become a major figure in zombie horror in his own right after directing nearly 40 episodes of The Walking Dead and serving as an EP on the hit AMC series.

Nicotero and Miller also happen to be from Pittsburgh, as was Romero, and the idea for the new film came about at a memorial service for the late director. The stories shared by Romero’s old friends about how the revered filmmaker was able to craft one of cinema history’s most popular horror movies with a miniscule budget was very inspiring for Nicotero, as he tells Deadline.

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“They really had no experience,” Nicotero said about the Night of the Living Dead crew. “One of the actors was the makeup artist. It was this bunch who’d shot a couple commercials, sitting around saying, hey we should make a movie. And someone in the group said, yes, ‘let’s make a horror movie. They always make money.’ I love that spirit of a group of people getting together who had no real idea what they were doing and fumbling their way through.”

He added, “One of the interesting things to me is, when you watch the movie, it has this sense of film noir because of the way the lighting is. A lot of that is, they just didn’t have money to afford a lot of lights. So they created a very unique lighting style for a lot of scenes, which played into the motif of what Night of the Living Dead is about. Even when they struck the prints to distribute, they used cheap film stock, so there was a lot of contrast. Everything that was black went black and everything white went really white. That added to this weird noir film vibe of, what’s going to come out of the darkness and get me? It was a perfect storm of events with a group that loved working together and rolled up their sleeves.”

Greg Nicotero Will Direct the Movie

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Greg Nicotero is set to direct the film, which is now seeking writers to craft a screenplay. The idea is to do an “Ed Wood-style movie that shows the heart and character” of Romero while telling the story of a group of filmmakers coming together to make an iconic movie, despite having no clue what they were doing. The meta film will feature certain scenes from the original movie recreated in black-and-white, though th emovie will mostly be in color, as this will better allow viewers to understand what it took to put together the special effects – such as using melted chocolate to serve as blood.

“I put George in the same category as Tobe Hooper, or Wes Craven, these young maverick renegade filmmakers who were bucking the system,” Nicotero said of Romero. “George was one of the first people to buck the system. When people said, you’ve got to move to California, you have to be in Hollywood, he said, ‘No I don’t. I have Hollywood right here.’ He was loyal to his crew, to his town, and he continued to make all of his movies in Pittsburgh. That was another way of George saying, I’ll do things the way I want to. Jimmy and I wanted to celebrate him, and also our home in Pittsburgh where he made his movies.”

The untitled film does not yet have a release date.