‘Day of the Dead’ Reboot Shambling Forward from ‘Texas Chainsaw’ Producers

Published 2 years ago by

Day of the Dead opening titles Day of the Dead Reboot Shambling Forward from Texas Chainsaw Producers

Zombies are very hot right now – in terms of their popularity, at least; physically they seem to stay at around room temperature (well, depending on the version). The Walking Dead has remained one of the highest rated shows on AMC, and earlier this year we saw a zombie find love in rom-zom-com Warm Bodies. Zombieland got a TV pilot follow-up on Amazon (unfortunately it wasn’t very good), the undead were given a big-budget treatment in World War Z, and upcoming zombie movies include high school flick Detention of the Dead and the bizarrely-themed Cockneys vs. Zombies. Apparently you can drop zombies into just about any situation to spice it up.

Since zombies are in vogue, and horror movie remakes continue to spring up frequently within the genre, it was inevitable that another zombie movie remake would be on the way soon enough, and apparently that remake will be of George Romero’s 1985 film Day of the Dead.

Whereas Night of the Living Dead took place right at the beginning of the zombie plague, and Dawn of the Dead followed shortly thereafter, Day of the Dead is set in a time where virtually all human life (in North America, at least) appears to have been wiped out. Among the last few survivors are a team of scientists and soldiers who have been set up in an underground bunker and charged with finding a solution to the zombie problem.

Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead Day of the Dead Reboot Shambling Forward from Texas Chainsaw Producers

The LA Times reports that Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell, two of the producers behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot Texas Chainsaw 3D, have secured the rights to produce a remake of Day of the Dead, a mere five years after the last remake of the movie was released. The pair don’t have many specific ideas so far, beyond the fact that they want to “honor” the original movie.

Campbell assured Romero fans that:

“We want to keep it as close to the Romero version as possible, to make sure that his fans are happy. These are not going to be zombies climbing walls and doing back flips like in ‘World War Z.'”

Day of the Dead is interesting in the sense that, for much of the film, the zombies do not pose an immediate threat. They are either kept outside of the compound by a strong fence, corralled into cages or kept chained up in laboratories, where the scientists are able to dig into them with a clinical eye and begin to learn exactly how they function. The lead scientist, Dr. Logan, is even able to “tame” one of the zombies through behavioural conditioning.

The real villains of the tale are the soldiers assigned to protect the scientists – especially the hot-tempered Captain Rhodes, played in the original by Joseph Pilato – though there are still plenty of zombie attacks to keep fans of the genre happy. Day of the Dead also features a fantastic and extremely striking opening sequence, in which the characters head out in a helicopter to try and find survivors, and instead encounter nothing but a few alligators and thousands of zombies.

Bub the zombie in Day of the Dead Day of the Dead Reboot Shambling Forward from Texas Chainsaw Producers

There is often an understandable compulsion to roll one’s eyes every time another horror movie remake gets announced, especially if the movie being remade is a classic. Carrie has already received the 21st century treatment, and will be out later this year, and Poltergeist is also being rebooted in the near future. In the case of Day of the Dead, those who admire Romero’s original trilogy might be a little more open to this news, since Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead actually turned out to be one of the better horror movies of the last decade. With that in mind, it’s possible that a remake of Day of the Dead in the light of current social and political issues could actually bring something new to the table.

Whether or not it actually manages to do so will depend very heavily on who Grobman and Campbell hire to write and direct the remake. They plan to  produce the film on a modest budget of between $10 and $20 million, but many great horror films have been made for a lot less than that.

Do you think that Day of the Dead could benefit from a modern remake, or would you rather see original zombie movies being produced? Let us know if you’re starting to get zombie fatigue in the comments.


Day of the Dead is in the early stages of production and doesn’t have a release date yet, but we’ll keep you up to date on any further details.

Source: LA Times

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Another remake???

  2. NO NO NO STOP REMAKING GEORGE ROMERO CLASSICS! Enough is enough isn’t there anymore damn originality in Hollywood left. I own all the original George Romero zombie films from Night of The Living Dead to Day of The Dead. I was truly disappointed at how Zack Snyder took on Dawn of The Dead, it was an entirely different film that might as well have been it’s own. Zack Snyder’s Dawn of The Dead was far from being one of the better horror films from the last decade it completely lost touch with the original including the cliched adding of running zombies and a straight foward typical blockbuster plot while Romero choosed to divulge on the characters not just the physical action. After viewing the original I am extremely dissaponted on the remake. Now a Day of The Dead remake, come on guys seriously. I usually have supported the idea of remakes and bringing the concept into a new generation for upcoming film makers to experience, but this is just going too far. Enough is enough.

    • Night of the living dead was the only film that was any good, i own them all too but they are all crap except that. The remake dawn was 100000x better than the original.

      Although Day is probably the worst of all the films imo, from the sh*te acting to the horrible script. Hopefully they dont make it worse than it was.

      • Agreed.

        I saw the Dawn remake last night again and it was really good. Coincidentally, I’d watched Night that morning and the original Day before the Dawn remake aired on a different channel.

        The thing with Day is that I kept waiting for something significant to happen but nothing ever did. I didn’t like the whole behavioural thing and while that main soldier was meant to be intimidating, he just came across to me like one of those jock types that uses weapons to show his superiority but is actually pretty harmless and the joke of the group even with a gun.

        That big guy with the beard and bandana that had his face ripped open as he screamed seemed more like a legit threat than the other guy did.

        I’m guessing that most of the budget went on turning a street in Miami look like a zombie wasteland for maybe 10 minutes of actual screen time and that Romero could only afford the kind of Y-list actors we see in the finished product.

        I also still can’t get over those blue skinned zombies. Whenever I saw them shuffling around, I actually laughed. Makeup back in the mid 80s wasn’t so expensive that they couldn’t have afforded something better, surely.

    • Now a Day of the Dead remake, because the previous Day of the Dead remake was a total fail (even if it did try and at least borrow from Romero’s original DotD concept before he was forced to make changes).

      I turned it off as soon as they had a zombie scaling a all like Spider-Man and another with apparent super stealth powers crawling through the ceiling tiles to drop down unexpectedly on some victims.

      To be fair, though, Ol’George wasn’t exactly batting 1000 with Survival and if want to see where he was headed after Day with the whole Bub implication, try and find his Toe Tags comic. It’ll have you shaking your head.

  3. The best thing they could do is use the orginial “epic” script that Romero originaly wrote for this movie. Since this is going to be made with a big budget now its a good time to do that

  4. I don’t see why not.

    I just don’t like that the zombies looked blue and grey in the original, which was extremely off-putting every time I’ve seen it.

    I thought Cockneys Vs Zombies released last year though?

    • In the UK it was, the US release is next month. I think it’s only getting a limited theatrical run before being shifted to DVD, though.

      • Thanks Hannah, I was confused because I don’t think it was even advertised over here as releasing, I just remember an article in a newspaper’s TV pages showing an image as they were filming it.

  5. It’s about time they get back to the ideology of a “force” bringing back the undead instead of all this virus based crap that turns zombies into undead athletes…

    I love the idea that somehow – something is bring the dead back to life and I kinda wish they would tap into THAT whether it’s forces from HELL or something crazy like that…

    I say do it!!!

    • Well, the original Night Of The Living Dead was all about a satellite carrying radiation from Venus so technically, the “..Of The Dead” franchise started off with some kind of radiation poisoning rather than just “a force” from nowhere.

      I know what you mean though, I’m just hesitant to watch this remake not because it won’t hold up but because the zombie thing has gotten old now. I got bored of it back in 2006 and it’s still ongoing for some reason.

      • The zombie franchise is actually more popular than ever now. With the blockbuster World War Z, soon to be game of the year The Last of Us, The Walking Dead TV series still holding a fan base, and The Walking Dead game having a sequel coming out.

        I’m not surprised someone is going back to an old zombie film for a remake.

        • @Robert W.

          That’s what makes me sad.

          I mean, zombie popularity has been around since the fad came back around in 2002. It started to die out thankfully until Call Of Duty added Nazi zombies and now suddenly, they’ve continued to be popular with everything being zombie this and zombie that.

          It’s come to a point where I have friends and family who refuse to buy a FPS game if there’s a zombie mode in it, I refused to get the Blackest Night DLC for Injustice: Gods Among Us because it came with Zombie Mode and I refuse to watch or play anything with zombies until the rest of the world is sick of them and moved onto the next fad.

          I haven’t seen The Walking Dead for that reason (plus it doesn’t look that good but it could just be my anti-zombie thing).

          • But this “anti-zombie thing” just seems kind of childish. Especially if a game has some sort of “zombie mode” in it. Don’t judge a game on it’s DLC or bonus features.

          • U r basing ur option on video games…that’s the problem.. I am a huge zombie fan .. N the “fad” didn’t come till the dawn of the dead remake with the “super” zombie came out..
            . don’t get me wrong that flick is amazing n one of my favs …n for someone who insist they like zombies n are an expert n hasn’t seen walking dead ( n prolly hasn’t read the source material) ur option is null n void

      • That was a red herring. They never said what caused it.

        • Just as an example the original Dawn stated There was no more room in hell so the dead will walk the earth.

          I think it was reiterated in the new Dawn also.

          Sounds good to me, there are none without sin (to a degree) so… 😀

      • …ohhh wow. I never knew that. I guess I need to watch it again.

      • “the original Night Of The Living Dead was all about a satellite carrying radiation from Venus so technically, the “..Of The Dead” franchise started off with some kind of radiation poisoning rather than just “a force” from nowhere.”

        That was a theory by the news media simply because the two events were close together. Even today, news media disseminates misinformation in their rush to be first on getting it out there.

        So no, it did not start with space radiation.

  6. If they actually remain faithful to the original I don’t see the problem. This is something that could easily be remade just for the 21st century makeover. Day was never my favorite Romero movie anyways so if they ruin it it’s no big deal to me.

  7. Thats probably my favorite sequel of all of them!

  8. Aslong as it’s somewhat like the original but stand on it’s own aswell id be happy. Captain Rhodes was a bada$$ in the original so I hope they get someone who can live up to the original guy who played Rhodes.

  9. Personally, I was never a fan of Day of the Dead. I loved Night of the Living Dead, and the remake of that film honored the original, had better acting, and a different ending. Dawn of the Dead is arguably one of the greatest zombie films of all time. The remake (instead of just an update no one wanted) was a very different movie with nods to the original.

    Being fond of both those original movies and their remakes, I don’t have a problem with a remake for Day of the Dead (which I thought was OK, but nothing all that special). Whether they make it a direct remake or a new film with nods to the original, all I want is a good Zombie movie.

  10. The one thing I loved about the Romero Zombie Flicks. The total WTF Moments.

    Night of the Living dead.
    Dawn of the dead.
    Day of the dead.

    They connect…But then…

    Land of the dead, Diary of the dead and Surival of the dead.

    The last three went way off course, and not even I can figure it out.

    Can any of you?

    • @ Jeff W

      I agree with ya on the last 3 films. They went off course imo too. Just as did Return Of Living Dead parts 3-5.

  11. Zombie with a gun!

    Oh he was one of my favorite zombies of all time.

    • Mongoose he was good,lol. The actor played it off well till the end when he gave Rhodes the solute. Love Rhodes final words too while being eaten
      Rhodes: “CHOKE ON THEM,CHOKE ON THEM!” lol.

  12. I thought they already remade “Day Of” a few years back, Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, they were soldiers. Or was that something else, I don’t really recall? I do remember that it was cheaply done and not very good.

    • It was a made for TV film. Other than getting the rights to the title, it wasn’t an “official” remake.

      • Sorry. It is an “official” remake.

        I understand wishing it so, but Taurus Entertainment owned the rights to Day of the Dead and the were the ones behind that remake, along with Millennium Entertainment. Who do you think Campbell and Grobman obtained the rights from?

        No matter how you slice it, that makes it official regardless of how it was released (and it was not as a TVM, but as a Direct to Disc).

  13. Zombie with the ear-phones on looks like all the Joe Chomp people I see every day whose life is defined only by ipods, texting, cell-phones, and “Whazzap, dudes?!”. I’ll likely give this one a pass.

    • But…..that’s why it could be perfect.

      Dawn Of The Dead was a satirical swipe at consumerism. Over 30 years have passed and that message is still just as relevant today.

  14. I don’t know. I think this one is worth remaking. At this point, Romero was pretty sloppy with his casting, and the movie wasn’t very tight. (the military under Rhodes were bumbling idiots who looked more like truckers). Romero was hoping for a budget to do more interesting things in the movie about the devastation of the world. While I don’t want a movie that’s all slick nonsense, cutting out all the good stuff from the original, I think the original’s enough of a misfire to warrant a sprucing up.
    That said, if it’s going to be mainstream Hollywood nonsense, with no blood or gore in it, then why waste the time? And not that digital sh*t, either.

  15. Movies I would like to see remade:

    “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World” to be more like the books
    several other movies based on books that could be done better

    movies that don’t need to be remade
    day of the dead
    several thousand others

    here are examples of great movies that, I at least, find better than the originals:
    King Kong (Jackson movie)
    The Fly (Cronenberg)
    The Thing (Carpenter)
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Fincher)
    Let Me In (Reeves)

    its a short list. with the exception of King Kong all these are really re-adaptations of written works, not necessarily remakes.

    in short, I love re-adaptations are okay, but remakes, I’m not a big fan of.

    • Agreed… except for Jurassic Park. I wouldn’t mind a sequel that takes more from the books, but very few movies have come out that all audiences agree they’ve “never seen anything like it”. Jurassic Park was a HUGE movie for it’s time (and still holds up pretty well). You just can’t top that. Even if the plot follows the book more, you just can’t repeat that sense of awe the first one created for audiences.

      Day of the Dead is one I do not think holds up very well. I hate most remakes just like everyone else, but let’s face it, Day was more of a cult movie than a good movie. If they can take those ideas from the original and make a better movie, then I’m all for it.

  16. Zombie with the ear-phones on looks like all the Joe Chomp people I see every day whose life is defined only by ipods, texting, cell-phones, and “Whazzap, dudes?!”. I’ll likely give this one a pass.

  17. There’s already a remake of Day of the Dead in 2008. It stars Mena Suvari and Ving Rhames and it’s a terrible movie! SyFy quality special effects, crappy dialogues with dull and unbelievable characters. Remaking the movie again for the second time seems pointless unless they could do it better than the original or offer something fresh( like Snyder’s take on Dawn of the Dead which i love)

  18. The Romero originals are total classics of horror (ive even grown to love land of the dead as a perfect continuation years after day). So in my eyes its one of the best quadilogys(?) Ever done. Even with all its faults of cheesy dialogue, bad acting, terrible make up in dawn, John leguizamo. That stuff is half of the charm for me…however, I can totally see modern viewers not being able to connect with them. And I thought dawn if the dead remake was brilliant in its own right. It was fun, scary, action packed and still maintained some great characters and the message from the original. The day remake on the other hand was complete garbage. Horrible written, throw away dribble. I would love to see a nicely done modern version of day that I can watch. There’s a lot of potential to do something great there…. Now im not even going to go into all of these horrendous night of the living dead remakes…

  19. You know fast zombies pose more of a threat right? That’d be more of a scare factor while sitting in the theater. Which is why I personally enjoyed Dawn of the Dead remake.

    • Someone pushes the idea that fast zombies are more of a threat and scarier and we somehow wind up with zombies that have spider powers and can scale walls or jump unrealistic distances (DotD 2008) or supercharged zombies on steroids that can do backflips and acrobatics (WWZ). But hey, if fast zombies are scary then faster and more furious zombies would be even more so, right? How about zombie ninjas? With swords!!

  20. Also, if it has the original director’s blessing, why complain?

    • Well, er, Attack of the Clones had the original director’s blessing. So did Point Of No Return

  21. Eh, I didn’t even like the original. Night of the Living Dead is still good even as a black and white film. Dawn of the Dead is still entertaining, and its remake was pretty awesome. Land of the Dead is alright. Zombie fiction when done well is really good, but when it misses it misses badly.