George Romero says he turned down 'The Walking Dead'


Image Credit: Michael Gibson

Zombie godfather George Romero hasn’t watched AMC’s hit The Walking Dead — and turned down an offer to direct episodes of the show.

In an interview with i09 promoting his new project, adapting a novel called The Zombie Autopsies, the Night of the Living Dead director had kind words for the show, despite doing his best to avoid it:

“I love the books, I haven’t seen any of the episodes,” Romero said. “Listen I love [executive producer] Frank [Darabont], I know he’s done a good job. I love the books, I never watched any of the episodes because… my zombies are sort of my own. I didn’t want to be part of it. Producers called and said, ‘Do you want to direct some of these?’ And I said ‘no.’ Because I just didn’t think it was me. I’ve been waiting to see the whole first season, which I missed because I’ve been traveling. I’ve been waiting to look at it, but I haven’t seen any of it.”

Romero went on to explain that his zombies were used to explore societal and political issues. “I don’t use them to just create gore,” he said. And as for the current zombie craze, he said, “I half expect a zombie to show up on Sesame Street.”
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Comments (21 total) Add your comment
  • Tom Bergeron

    That’s cool

  • john

    As a huge Romero fan I can see his point on social commentary in his early zombie films. His recent zombie films however do lean more to straight gore much in the way he subtly criticizes the walking dead for.

    • Grubi

      Yeah, I was wondering if anyone else caught that passive aggressive dig he made. I think it is the word “just” that makes it an insult.

      • Drew

        After what he said about the comics and his desire to see the first season, and the fact that The Walking Dead does in fact use zombies to explore societal issues, I think it’s fair to assume his comments about gore for gore’s sake are directed at the overall zombie craze, rather than The Walking Dead specifically.

    • LastRide

      I disagree completely. While his newer movies have been nowhere near as good they have been more heavy on social messages. Look as something like Diary Of The Dead, it was a social commentary on the rise of the technological society and how everything is documneted. His movies nnot while not as good in content are probably more so packed with social commentary

  • Walking dead rules

    Good or it would have sucked! give me a break romero! only reason your saying,this now is because its a hit…and you werent asked to direct..only in your mind, him claiming it was “politic zombies” your full of it,dude your movies arent that good or scary!

    • darrin

      dude your movies aren’t that good or scary? what are you like thirteen?

    • Brian

      What’s your deal? He wasn’t ripping on the show. He was asked a question and gave an honest answer.

  • darrin

    he is the godfather of zombies how about some respect? he just doesn’t want to be involved in the project it will still be just as good without him lighten up

  • jimmy

    Romero has always been like this.

  • Josh

    Yeah, this sounds perfectly reasonable.

  • jeff

    I remember watching Romero’s “Day of the Dead” when I was younger and to be honest, I just remember how gory it was (which made it very cool to me at the time). I didn’t focus on the political or social commentary until I was older. However, after watching his latest 2 efforts on AMC the other night, I was really disappointed in how low budget, poorly acted, and most disturbingly, how poorly directed they were. I believe “The Walking Dead” dodged a bullet there by having Romero decline to be involved.

    • @Jeff

      Watch for the rubber chicken when the zombies pull Rhodes apart in Day of the Dead. I thought it was a pretty funny gag inserted into the final moments of the film.

  • Stupid Show Stupid Director

    This is one of the worst shows ever on television, and he is one of the world’s worst “alleged” directors. Both works can only appeal to the lowest common denominator mouth-breaking, slacked-jawed yokels. AMC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this type of purile filth to be aired.

    • Brian

      Actually it’s a very good show filled with great character development and drama, but thanks for sharing your opinion.

      • Krys

        agreed. Its a good show and they have tons of room for great story lines about humans in survival mode.

    • Not Slow Scott

      You must not like quality horror with character development. As a person always on the hunt for well written, well made stories, I can say with certainty that The Walking Dead has to be one of the best things on television right now, right up there with Breaking Bad, in my view. It isn’t just about gore, dude; it is about showing people placed the worst situation they ever dreamed of, and showing us the view how the deal with it in realistic terms.

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  • Eric

    What the walking dead gory. You got to be kidding me. It isnt that gory. They show more on how they are surviving with a world of zombies. The show is not just based on zombies.I love George’s movies. He is truely the Godfather of Zombies, but I do think he is a little jealous because it wasnt his idea to bring zombies as a TV show, and it wasnt his hit show.

  • Angie

    I feel like you all have lost it. Where would we as zombie fans all be if it weren’t for Romero..If it wasn’t for him there would never be a walking dead..I think he is brilliant for being able to make it political and scary at the same time so Nana boo boo..Stick your face in poo poo

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