Zombies have fascinated audiences for decades, at least going back to George A. Romero’s iconic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Thanks largely to current television series like The Walking Dead (and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead) and iZombie, the undead brain-devouring creatures are as popular as ever.
However, in order to remain culturally relevant, upcoming projects dealing with zombies — as we’ve often argued about the superhero genre — will have to adapt and find new kinds of stories to tell. Case in point, Lionsgate has just announced that a new comic book adaptation aims to offer a fresh take on zombies.
The studio has revealed that it is teaming with publisher Double Take to develop a big-screen version of Jeff McComsey’s Z-Men. Set in 1966, the Jeff McComsey comic book series follows two Secret Service agents tasked by President Johnson to investigate a string of mass murders that could be connected to a burgeoning zombie apocalypse. McComsey’s other notable comic book works include American Terror, Ultimate Night of the Living Dead and Rise.
Here is an official joint statement on the news, from Liongsate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger:
“We’re delighted to expand our relationship with our friends at Take-Two by partnering with their comic book arm, Double Take, in bringing Z-Men to the big screen. We continue to diversify our portfolio with films adapted from novels, video games and board games and look forward to translating 2T’s graphic novel into a spine-chilling film for moviegoers and comic book fans alike. It is yet another example of the strong underlying intellectual property on which our film and television content is based.”
Considering that Z-Men is the flagship title in Double Take’s recently launched Night of the Living Dead universe, it’s likely that Lionsgate is hoping that this film will kick off a shared cinematic universe based on its related titles. After all, nearly every studio is looking to emulate the Marvel Cinematic Universe approach to storytelling – and with zombies still so popular, one can’t blame Lionsgate for looking to capitalize on the timing of such an endeavor.
Moreover, McComsey’s take on the zombie apocalypse presents something that audiences haven’t really seen too much of. It examines the beginnings of a zombie outbreak from a procedural standpoint – one that also neatly integrates a period setting that is perfectly in keeping with the original Night of the Living Dead. Add in the fact that that franchise still has legions of fans, and there’s a good chance that Z-Men may become a hit should it reach theaters – as long as the right team is brought onboard to bring the undead tale to life.
Are you looking forward to seeing Z-Men make its way to the big screen? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Z-Men film as this story develops.