George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is the origin point for the zombie subgenre as we know it, and its fingerprints are still all over film and television’s hordes of shuffling undead, even half a century and change later.
Not only did it launch Romero’s own six-film franchise that kept him occupied for the next 30 years, but it also spawned the Return of the Living Dead series from Night‘s co-writer John Russo, as well as countless remakes. Special effects legend Tom Savini helmed one in 1990, a low budget 3D retread arrived in 2006, Con Air director Simon West produced the animated re-imagining Darkest Dawn and self-aware horror Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead gave the plot a real-life spin.
Earlier this year, an R-rated project titled Night of the Animated Dead was announced out of nowhere, and it’s now been confirmed that the animated feature is coming to Blu-Ray, DVD and digital this fall via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, with To Your Last Death‘s Jason Axinn calling the shots.
The voice cast has also been announced, and several notable names will be playing characters that featured in Romero’s original including Dule Hill’s Ben, Josh Duhamel’s Harry Cooper, Katharine Isabelle’s Barbara, James Roday Rodriguez’s Tom, Katee Sackhoff’s Judy, Will Sasso’s Sheriff McClelland, Jimmi Simpson’s Johnny and Nancy Travis’ Helen Cooper. As far as we can tell, Night of the Animated Dead is set to be a straightforward remake, albeit a two-dimensional one.
A locked-in release date hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, and there’s arguably no real reason for the project to exist, but it’s got a decent voice cast in place and should appeal to longtime fans of Romero’s work and the zombie canon in general.