Following its work on A Most Wanted Man and Tusk with Kevin Smith, Demarest is set to make the move into the über-competitive market of television drama, dragging George A. Romero’s acclaimed graphic novel Empire of the Dead along with it.
First picked up by Variety, we understand that the adaptation is still in its embryonic form. How and ever, with Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson on board as executive producers, the wheels are beginning to ache into motion.
“Demarest is thrilled to bring more of George’s unique vision to screens everywhere, because he’s truly the one who started it all. I am also particularly pleased to be collaborating with George and Peter again, following our success with Diary of the Dead.”
It’s true that the small screen hasn’t exactly been wanting for big-budget zombie shows of late, what with AMC’s lucrative The Walking Dead and its upcoming companion series, Fear the Walking Dead holding the lion’s share of the market. But considering that Romero is essentially the grandfather of the genre – his 1968 Night of the Living Dead ushered the concept of a zombie apocalypse into mainstream culture – and his 15-page graphic novel also includes vampires, we’re willing to give this project the benefit of the doubt.
Empire of the Dead was originally published by Marvel in 2014 and has to date spawned three acts, with the third due in October of this year. If all goes to plan, Demarest will look to usher the zombie series into the limelight in and around this window. Or, on the other hand, hold the genre crossover until early 2016.