Fans of The Walking Dead should know the show would not exist without George Romero. The filmmaker's creation of the Night of the Living Dead was a massive catalyst for the horror-zombie genre, so fans are gathering today to mourn legend’s sudden passing. And, as expected, The Walking Dead’s executive producer is taking time to honor Romero as well.
Over on Instagram, Greg Nicotero shared a picture of him giving an award to George Romero from a few years back. The photo was posted shortly after news broke about Romero's death, and it came with a touching caption which can be read below:
“The sad news keeps rolling in. There are so many things to say about this man, my friend, my mentor and my inspiration. For what he gave us all with passion and fire, his unrelenting spirit will live forever. Blessed that I was honored to present him this award late April in Pittsburgh where IT ALL F*CKING STARTED!!!! Never ending love to him and his family.”
When it comes to The Walking Dead, the loss of Romero is not the first blow to hit the series as of late. Last week, the fandom went into mourning when news broke that a vetted stuntman was killed on the set of The Walking Dead’s eighth season. The show’s cast and crew were quick to pay respects to the late actor, and now Nicotero is making tribute to a man who inspired him to oversee The Walking Dead in the first place.
Just minutes after the producer’s first post, Nicotero shared another image with fans. The new picture is on the blurry side, but it shows Romero on the set of The Crazies.
“I was it my cousin Frank's house yesterday and he showed me super eight footage that his father Sam had shot on the set of THE CRAZIES and I took a photo from the screen of George directing,” Nicotero explained, nodding to the candid still.
In the past, Nicotero has spoken at length about how Romero’s work within the horror genre has influenced The Walking Dead. The producer sat down with Rolling Stone and told the magazine his crew refers to Night of the Living Dead as the pinnacle of zombie flicks.
The sad news keeps rolling in. There are so many things to say about this man, my friend, my mentor and my inspiration. For what he gave us all with passion and fire, his unrelenting spirit will live forever. Blessed that I was honored to present him this award late April in Pittsburgh where IT ALL FUCKING STARTED!!!! Never ending love to him and his family.
“We always sort of refer to Night Of the Living Dead as the Holy Grail of zombie movies. All of the rules – you've gotta shoot it in the head to kill it – before 1969, that little piece of folklore didn't exist. Now it's part of popular culture. So we owe a lot to George's vision and the world he set up,” Nicotero explained.
“I know that when we did the pilot, Frank Darabont and I talked at great length about Night Of the Living Dead being sort of our beacon.”
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Fear the Walking Dead returns September 10. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October with a trailer coming in July at San Diego Comic Con. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter