Thursday, July 28, 2011

WALKING DEAD NEWS: Mazzara Succeeds Darabont

Though it's not clear at this point whether or not Frank Darabont will remain attached in some capacity to AMC's THE WALKING DEAD, he has officially been replaced by Glen Mazzara. The Shield veteran was brought aboard as Darabon't No. 2 at the beginning of Season 2. "We consider him our head writer," Darabont told Deadline last month, "and he’s just a fantastic asset."

In addition to his work on The Shield, Mazzara was showrunner on the STARZ L.A. drama, Crash. He was replaced for the second season. I have no idea what this says about his showrunning abilities, but I'll defer to Darabont, who knows what he's doing (expect for that ridiculous hospital bed POV from the first episode of THE WALKING DEAD).

Online fanboy negative response notwithstanding, there's absolutely no reason to declare this the end of THE WALKING DEAD. Darabont is a filmmaker, not a showrunner, and now that he's gotten THE WALKING DEAD off the ground, after five years of trying to bring zombies to prime time, it makes sense that he'd move on to other things. (Like maybe a film version of Stephen King's THE LONG WALK.)

This changing of the guard has not affected the production of season two of THE WALKING DEAD, which is set to premiere on October 16th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not Again of the Living Dead

They're remaking NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD again.

Here's the press release:

North Bank Entertainment, the UK production company behind Ruggero Deodato’s forthcoming ‘The House on the Edge of the Park Part II’, has teamed up with Independent Moving Pictures and Mad Science Films to produce NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION, a British version of the 1968 horror classic.

The film will be produced by Andrew Jones and is the debut feature of director James Plumb, who has previously helmed a number of award winning short films. The script has been co-written by James Plumb and Andrew Jones. Rob Graham of Independent Moving Pictures is the Executive Producer.

Producer Andrew Jones: “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION is aiming to serve as an entertaining companion piece to the original film rather than attempting to do the impossible and improve on it. This project is being produced by a group of filmmakers who are genuine fans of the horror genre. We have fresh ideas for how to revitalise the Zombie sub-genre and have created a story that combines modern elements with the classic premise. We are sure genre fans will be happy to see a modern horror film which focuses on genuine suspense and tension, utilises practical FX rather than CGI and provides characters that the audience will actually care about.”

Director James Plumb: "In 1968 George Romero revolutionised both the horror genre and low budget, independent filmmaking with his film “Night of the Living Dead”. It is only fitting that “Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection” is to be made in a truly independent, low budget fashion, rather than become yet another glossy, sanitised Hollywood remake."

Principal photography begins on September 24th, 2011. The film will be shot on location in Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Cardiff in South Wales, UK.


In 2012 the deceased have risen from their graves with only one instinct: to feed on the living. As academics speculate on the scientific cause of the phenomena, theologians point to the Armageddon foretold in the Book of Revelation. As the cities are overrun and civilization crumbles, a family take refuge from the undead army in an isolated farmhouse in West Wales. But the greatest threat is already among them.

You're rolling your eyes, and I'm tempted to join you, but how can it possibly be worse than the last few times someone dragged the name NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD writhing through the dirt? All the bad 3D, crude animation, puppets, and sliced bread in the world can't top what was done to NIGHT in 1998, so who cares anymore? Eventually, someone is going to get it right.*

Maybe these folks...

*Tom Savini got it right in 1990, by the way.

Frank Darabont Walks From the DEAD?

I think that last trailer I posted was a fake. I haven't looked into it, but it felt... wrong. Whatever the case, there's a new trailer, and it's very real, but it's not even news anymore--it's been eclipsed:

Frank Darabont has stepped down as showrunner on AMC's wildly successful series, THE WALKING DEAD.

As no official statement has been made (we're trying to get one), we're left only with speculation: was the strain of overseeing thirteen episodes too much for Darabont? I have no idea. Some have suggested as much, but what of the talk that AMC was threatening to cut the show's budget?

Two months ago, Darabont told The Hollywood Reporter that he feared budget cuts would hurt the show:

“Creatively I have no complaints thus far, but I believe if they do move ahead with what they’re talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?”

Darabont's departure comes as a surprise. Just last week, he appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con and gave no indication that things were amiss. Recently, when asked if he'd be directing any episodes of the second season of THE WALKING DEAD, he said:

"I'm hoping to. You know, being the boss is kinda like being the kid who has to stay in and do homework. Everyone gets to play outside. Yeah, it's hot and miserable, but my God it's fantastic. And I'm just going, 'Aww, I've got to go home to L.A. I'm cramming for finals, I guess. While you guys get to play zombies, I'm doing homework.'"

Hindsight prompts me to read between the lines here. Was Darabont already distancing himself from the production? Is this a natural and expected thing--Darabont getting the machine rolling along and then passing the wheel to another, perhaps one with more showrunning experience? I don't know. Someone does, and I expect we'll get a real answer soon enough.

Meantime, how about that trailer?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season Two, But Not Yet!

A few days ago, word broke that Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston told New York Magazine that Season two of The Walking Dead would premiere this month, not in October, as originally announced:
"And I believe they're going to put Walking Dead in July as well. I think it's just a sensible thing — they want to attract as many eyeballs as possible, away from the heavy competition of the September, November, January start."
Exciting, right? New Walking Dead any day now!

Settle, settle--it's not happening. I asked someone at AMC, and the response I received was simple:
"The Walking Dead will premiere around Halloween. It is not premiering now."
So there. Makes sense, considering that the season two promotion machine did not rumble into motion until tonight, with the release of this teaser trailer:

It's more stylized than I'd expect, but it does what it's supposed to do: let you know that a new season of The Walking Dead is right around the corner. Excited?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Welcome to Zombie Talk

There's not a lot here. There will be soon. Stuff like:

  • News on PRINT IS DEAD's latest releases.

  • News on AMC's The Walking Dead and the film version of World War Z.

  • Interviews with some really awesome zombie authors, including Jonathan Maberry, Joe McKinney, and many more.

  • Reviews of comics, movies, and books.

  • A report from the set of Brian Keene's Ghoul.

  • News on Zombie stuff I've currently forgotten about.

  • News on Zombie stuff of which I am currently unaware.

For starters, you might be wondering: What the heck is PRINT IS DEAD?

It's a line from Ghostbusters, and it's also the name of the new zombie imprint from acclaimed indie-publisher, Creeping Hemlock Press. We launched in 2005, with Corpse Blossoms, a Stoker-nominated anthology that Jack Ketchum called "the best, most consistently satisfying anthology" that he'd read in years. Earlier this year at World Horror 2011 in Austin, we unveiled our first three zombie novels:

  • Pray to Stay Dead by Mason James Cole

  • World In Red by John Sebastian Gorumba

  • Scavengers by Nate Southard

All three books are receiving rave reviews, and this is just the beginning: we have several other excellent zombie titles in the pipeline, including The Living by Kealan Patrick Burke and Reanimated Americans by Martin Mundt. 2012 will bring even more zombie awesomeness-- much of which I can't even tell you about. We'll be working with some of very best horror writers around to bring you the very best in zombie fiction.

Check back often, and thanks for stopping by.