Horror fans suffered a great loss when George Romero died in July 2017, but now they have something to look forward to from the late director and writer. His widow, Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, has revealed that he left behind a treasure trove of previously unreleased work – unproduced scripts, a 1973 movie, and the novel he was working on at the time of his death.
Suzanne Desrocher-Romero has not gone into great detail about the unproduced scripts. We don’t know when they were written or what they are about. We also don’t know what she will do with the scripts at this point. However, she has clearly stated her intent to share this work with the world:
“We have a lot. George was a prolific writer. He loved to write, and we have 40, 50 scripts that he’s written, and a lot of it is very good. He had a lot to say, and he still does, because I’m gonna make sure that he does. It’s my mission.”
1973 Romero Movie
While there are no specific plans set for the scripts, Desrocher-Romero has announced that her first project will be to restore and release a previously unreleased movie Romero made in 1973. Some people close to Romero have seen the film, but she would like fans of Romero’s work to be able to see it too:
“We have a film that he shot in 1973 that most people haven’t seen. A handful of people have seen this film,” said Desrocher. “We’re gonna restore it, and we’re gonna show it to Romero cinephiles. It’s a scary movie, but it’s not a horror movie, and it’s about ageism. Anyway, he has a cameo in it, and it’ll be fun. And we’ll show the movie, or get it distributed. It’ll be a project that the foundation’s gonna do. I think it’s the first project we’re gonna do actually.”
Flashback: George Romero in the 1970s
The Living Dead
Another work that will be released is Romero’s last novel called The Living Dead. The novel is currently being completed by Daniel Kraus, the co-author of the novel version of Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kraus shares his thoughts about the novel:
“What’s exciting about the novel, though, is how it goes the opposite direction,” Kraus adds. “It’s huge. It’s a massively scaled story, a real epic, the kind no one ever gave him the budget for in film. In a book, of course, there is no budget, and in his pages you can feel his joy of being able, at last, to do every single thing he wanted.”
Entertainment Weekly also reports that the novel “will be released by Tor in Fall 2019,” and it provides the following synopsis for The Living Dead:
“On October 24th, John Doe rises from the dead. Assistant Medical Examiner Luis Acocella and his assistant Charlene Rutkowksi are vivisecting him when it happens, and so begins a global nightmare beyond comprehension.
“Greer Morgan is a teenager living in a trailer park, and when the dead begin their assault, the true natures of her neighbors are revealed. Chuck Chaplin is a pretty-boy cable-news anchor, and the plague brings sudden purpose to his empty life.
“Karl Nishimura is the helmsman of the U.S.S. Vindicator, a nuclear submarine, and he battles against a complete zombie takeover of his city upon the sea. And meanwhile, a mysterious woman named Etta Hoffmann records the progress of the epidemic from a bunker in D.C., as well as the broken dreams and stubborn hopes of a nation not ready to give up.
“Spread across three separate time periods and combining Romero’s biting social commentary with Kraus’s gift for the beautiful and grotesque, the book rockets forward as the zombie plague explodes, endures, and finally, in a shocking final act, begins to radically change.”
This exciting discovery of unreleased work will help to ensure that Romero’s legacy lives on.