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Quint & Harry debate George Romero's concept for his next ZOMBIE movie, DIARY OF THE DEAD!!!

This is the AOL IM conversation between Harry and Quint tonight, regarding George Romero’s upcoming independent zombie film, DIARY OF THE DEAD. Quint will be Blue… Harry will be Black… Enjoy

you updating?

I will. in the last 5 minutes or so of the broken lizard interview this interview be long. but on the docket have the romero dead sequel that sounds like crap, that limited release for idiocracy

doesn't sound like a sequel.

plus whatever else is new in the trades.

sounds like a separate project altogether.

and it sounds like crap.

that's the way to give a legend the benefit of the doubt.

I don't doubt his filmmaking, but that story is fuckin' retarded. it's something a studio exec would come up with. It's Blair witch meets night of the living dead!

yeah and a logline that says - "World turns to zombies so 3 folks decide to go to a mall" would sound great?

Dude, if you think mixing blair witch with zombies is the right step for Romero, good for you, I can take any movie and make it sound like a piece of shit


but that concept is stupid the concept of people trapped in a mall during a zombie outbreak isn't.

The idea of a group of filmmakers out in the woods shooting a low-budget horror film at the advent of a zombie outbreak... where they learn the zombies move slow and are easily herded - and decide to make a film using them as their undead threat - thinking they can control the situation doesn't sound like it has potential? He could be doing a satire on the whole cinema verite of JACKASS and BORAT...

if you say so.

all I know - is romero's zombie films always have more than the logline on their mind.

I don't doubt there's something more to it but I think it's a huge mistake the basic concept

what - he should make another Survivalist Zombie film?

so, if bryan singer came out and said superman 2 was about kids looking to video tape superman for a school project... it'll be shot on DV and Superman will appear halfway through, but then leave...

dude - that's MARVELS!

would that be a good idea?

That's Quentin's idea of setting a movie... a different genre - within the confines of a created universe...

You can blindly follow a crappy concept just because a great filmmaker is interested in doing it. I trust romero as a filmmaker, but he's going to have to prove that concept to me. it has never worked. a Woody Allen film in a Godzilla universe

Halloween 8 tried to do that...

yeah - but with a terrible filmmaker.

and a terrible concept.

this is Romero without a studio, trying to a make a film without the studio's entanglements.

that's nice. pick a scenario that isn't already dated.

All I know is... I can imagine him doing it right, just as you can imagine him doing it wrong.

I hope I'm wrong. Look at Diamond Dead. That premise sounded bizarre and it could totally not work. I had faith in him there, because it was so radically different. this just sounds like one of a thousand horror movies that will be lining the halls of AFM. The only thing different about it is someone who has directed brilliant movies directed it but he also directed bruiser.

just because an idea has been done wrong in the past - doesn't mean it can't be done right. That'd be like giving up on Fantasy filmmaking just because from 81 till LORD OF THE RINGS it had always failed. BRUISER was at least an interesting failure.

I don't want to see a Romero dead film that's "an interesting failure" because he decided to shoot it on DV and rip off the blair witch scenario

neither do I - and he knows he's making a zombie film, which is his realm of comfort. I don't think he'd fuck it up. Imagine it done right, this premise, it could be amazing. at this stage - exploring the merits of the concept is the exciting part. of course this would be a great post on AICN - this chat...

heh. you want me to post this?

I say we do it. I'll post it. I won't write an intro.

alright, go for it.

it'll just be Quint and Harry debate Romero's New Zombie Movie Concept. most people will agree with you, I bet

listen, I don't want Romero to fail. I want him to surprise me.

I bet he will surprise you, he's a wiley ol genius, that one.

but I can't get behind this concept. He has to win my faith in this concept. I just hate the idea of mixing in a Blair Witch element.

well - that BLAIR WITCH part - is that some nob at Variety writing, "Blair Witch meets NOTLD" thinking they've got the jist of it?

well, it could be. But we know for sure it focuses on college students shooting a horror movie in the woods. college students. Right there is the first red flag, and they film a zombie uprising as they say in the article... the whole idea just sounds so wink-wink, nudge nudge

Dude - if it said, 3 college filmmakers go into the woods to shoot a horror film only to run into zombies, this film is that footage, their story, found in camera... I'd be worried. dude - there's nothing that says this is a DV movie it's an under $5 million dollar feature

the DV comes into play with the blair witch element. if that's really the idea behind it and not some smart-trade quip then you'll see half the movie in DV

which is the reporter's "influence" not a quote from anyone else.

at least then Romero needs to release a statement telling us what he's planning and how he's not going to make Blair Witch meets his Dead films because the concept makes everybody think of that.

It says he's going to be shooting with UNION crew members.

No one is comparing it to Return to Horror High 2 or something

from Hollywood Reporter:

"Romero's new script replaces the original's static-filled radio with new technologies like smartphones to inform characters of impending doom. But fans can expect the classic Romero style. " "It has my sensibility, my sense of socioeconomic satire," he said. "And it has my zombies! They're not rushing around -- they're gonna be moving slow."


fucking worry wart.

now he has to make a movie that's better than the description.


if he puts Sam Jackson in the lead role, count me 100% in for this movie.

Some reason I can't seem to pull up the Variety article, I'm logged in.

I don't have a Variety subscription, so I couldn't read it if I wanted to. 2:00 AM. only thing I can see is the first few lines.

Their site seems to be acting up, but I'm reading the whole HOLLYWOOD REPORTER story - and I get the feeling that Gregg Goldstein is taking license with his BLAIR WITCH meets Romero's DEAD.

I hope you're right.

- From Hollywood Reporter:

"the film will follow a group of college students shooting a horror movie in the woods who stumble upon a real zombie uprising. When the onslaught begins, they seize the moment as any good film students would, capturing the undead in a "cinema verite" style that causes more than the usual production headaches. "

I bet that's straight out of the press release that he got and at that level - I'm excited

well, I'm sure it is since all the other trades have the exact same synopsis.

Cuz imagine... Filmmakers shooting low budget. They've got their sub-par actors, aspiring artsy fartsy filmmakers... and then real zombies show up and they see it as their chance to make a landmark horror film. they start gathering zombies... releasing them into sets... arming their "actors" with live rounds Doing new takes by releasing more zombies into a scene... crew wanting to quit...

that's a lot of guessing on your part

Absolutely, but that's the dream of the project

and on one level it's interesting, but it all feels so winky at the camera.

that's the potential and his other Zombie films, save NIGHT - don't have a winky part c'mon... Pie fight in a mall? that's "satire". Jonathan Swift's MODEST PROPOSAL where he's proposing to eat the poor's babies to solve society's growing impoverished was totally a wink.

yes, but the movie's central concept isn't about pie fighting with zombies in a mall.

right - it's about living in a mall - the last vestiges of consumer society where 4 people would presume to have a perfect life as the rest of the world... literally went to hell.

interesting. good, strong central concept. not some college kids making a cheap movie in the woods and playing with real life zombies. There's much more room to mess that idea up.

now imagine if Gregg Goldstein had said, "Shadow of a Vampire" meets "Romero's DEAD series" which is very much about using real supernatural in a filmmaking greed element

well, that wouldn't be starring a group of teenagers, or 20-somethings playing teenagers and it's still such a far-out concept that doesn't feel in tone with the rest of the Dead movies. Love. Love 'em all or not, all the Dead films feel like they exist in the same world. I'm having trouble seeing where a movie like this fits in to that universe

Well - this has to do with how ARTISTS would react to his universe, in the same way that Rednecks would hang zombies from trees to shoot them. Here, today's crass opportunistic shoot it all youth filmmakers would JACKASS with Zombies - till they got bit on the ass.

that doesn't sound like a good idea to me, though.

Do you really think - that Romero won't have the zombies win? The zombies ALWAYS WIN!

I'm sure he can show me how that works, and I hope he does, but it still sounds awful right now. of course the zombies will win. that doesn't change that the core concept behind this movie sounds like a bad idea to me.

and won't you love it... when you see the zombies shooting with their equipment. all fucked up. I don't know - I can see Romero making a very good film here, cuz I don't think he'll cast this with bad actors - I see him getting a very strong young group of actors - cuz let's face it. Who wouldn't want to be in this film in that age range? at this point, I just want to see the script - cuz I have absolute faith that he'll make the best version of this idea.

if he can cast it outside of the WB, get some real strong people... and the concept is executed in a way I can't see it as right now... then I'll agree with you. My knee-jerk is that this is a bad idea, one that doesn't feel like a Dead movie. Not in a good and interesting way, but in a "what the fuck is this?" kind of way.

I find your lack of faith... disturbing...

I'm sure Lucas did, too, when he wouldn't listen to people telling him he was making crappy movies great filmmakers can make crappy movies. I hope this isn't the case with Romero.

you're really going to accuse this of being a crappy movie based on Gregg Goldstein's use of "Blair Witch Project"?

no, I'm going to accuse the concept of college kids making a movie in the woods as being a crappy idea for a new Romero Dead movie. And wait for him to prove me wrong. I want him to.

and how many Frat Rat college kids do you know out in the woods shooting horror movies. The College Kids I have met that go out in the woods to shoot horror films are FUN CHARACTERS.

2:20 AM... for a romero movie?

and how many young college kids that shoot horror films do you think Romero has met? He could be basing the main character on Eli Roth - and you can't tell me you wouldn't want to see Eli getting eaten by a zombie.

Who doesn't? But do I want that to be the whole plot behind a new Romero zombie flick? No.

I just really don't imagine Romero going the wrong way with this. He's spent the last 45 or so years meeting these characters - and I bet he's going to make them as real as possible. And in striving for that realism and satire - I bet he comes out with a really good film.

Write what you know - and he certainly knows young aspiring horror filmmakers

I hope so.

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