Night of the Living Dead Director George Romero Thinks Brad Pitt Killed the Zombie Franchise

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As an elder statesman of modern zombie horror films — if not the foremost leading authority on the subject — George Romero knows a thing or two about what makes a zombie flick work. After all, he pioneered the genre with his films Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. So, when asked in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter to opine on the future of the Dead franchise, let's just say he wasn't too optimistic, thanks in part to a certain A-list actor. "I've sort of dropped out of it. The Dead are everywhere these days. I think really Brad Pitt killed it," Romero said. "The Walking Dead and Brad Pitt just sort of killed it all. The remake of Dawn of the Dead made money. I think pretty big money. Then Zombieland made money, and then all of a sudden, along comes Brad Pitt and he spends $400 million or whatever the hell to do World War Z. [World War Z author] Max Brooks is a friend of mine, and I thought the film was not at all representative what the book was and the zombies were, I don't know, ants crawling over the wall in Israel. Army ants. You might as well make The Naked Jungle."

Romero added that he would be "content" waiting until this new sort of zombie franchise dies down and returns to its humble, subversive beginnings. "My films, I've tried to put a message into them. It's not about the gore, it's not about the horror elements that are in them," he explained. "It's more about the message, for me. That's what it is, and I'm using this platform to be able to show my feelings of what I think."