We’re currently living through what feels like a George Romero movie. As our government continues to flounder under the pressure of COVID-19, one can’t help but feel as if we’re a part of some apocalyptic nightmare. It seems only fitting that George Romero would still have something to say amidst all of this – and miraculously enough, he does. A panel discussing George Romero’s final work was held on Friday as a part of Comic-Con 2020. Naturally, due to the pandemic, all panels were streamed this year as opposed to the usually-crowded convention in San Diego.
Expertly moderated by Richard Newby (The Hollywood Reporter), THE LIVING DEAD: CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF GEORGE ROMERO sought to discuss the iconic filmmaker’s most endearing work, with special focus on Romero’s final project – a new book titled THE LIVING DEAD. Unfinished before the time of his death, Romero’s estate selected author and frequent Guillermo Del Toro collaborator Daniel Kraus to take up the challenge of finishing what the legendary filmmaker had started. Also present during the panel were Kraus and Romero’s widow Suzanne Romero. THE LIVING DEAD was set to be the final missing link in Romero’s Dead universe and takes place roughly within the continuity of the films. Co-author Daniel Krause talked at great length about the process of finishing the book where Romero left off at the time of his passing. Kraus mentioned pouring over hours of commentaries, critical analysis, and interviews to gain a better understanding of the beloved filmmaker, and referenced both letters and previous manuscripts written by Romero himself in order to assemble the massive undead tome.
Suzanne further discussed the process of selecting Kraus to finish the book and the satisfaction that came with seeing her husband’s work get completed. “It’s exactly what the fans are going to want to read,” she commented, assuring potential readers that the novel will contain all of her late husband’s signature themes – poignant social commentary, political ruminations, and of course, zombies. Kraus even highlighted a segment of the book written from a zombie’s perspective, which promises to be an exciting first for Romero’s universe. In an era consumed by social and political unrest, THE LIVING DEAD couldn’t be more relevant. Forever ahead of his time, it would seem Romero still has a lot to say about the human condition, and the future we’ve all inherited. THE LIVING DEAD will be published via Tor Books on August 4th and can be pre-ordered with a special edition posted by clicking the link here.