The first season of SYFY's Day of the Dead is set to premiere later this week, and while the name is clearly drawn from director George A. Romero's iconic third entry into his zombie universe, there's little narrative similarity between the two properties. With this first season, showrunners Scott Thomas and Jed Elinoff opted to lean into the title a bit more literally, exploring the first 24 hours after a zombie outbreak unfolds, with the pair confirming they already have a number of ideas in mind for what a follow-up season could explore. Day of the Dead premieres on SYFY on October 15th.
"We're wide open. We joked on set that we could just keep doing the next day and the next day and the next day while we were doing it," Elinoff shared with ComicBook.com. "But the truth is, you could do the next day, you could do the same characters a later day. I mean, it all depends. We left it a little bit open on purpose. We think there's some other forces at work that are important that just get revealed towards the end of the season. So I think that there's a lot of places for it to go and we were very excited to tackle the second season."
SYFY's Day of the Dead is the intense story of six strangers trying to survive the first 24 hours of an undead invasion. This ode to George A. Romero's famous flesh-eaters reminds us that sometimes all it takes to bring people together is a horde of hungry zombies trying to rip them apart.
Horror fans are quite familiar with long-form storytelling in the world of zombies, as The Walking Dead on AMC has chronicled groups of survivors for years, with the abbreviated timeline of this new series being only one of the ways in which Day of the Dead sets itself apart from its peers.
"The Walking Dead really, obviously, is very much influenced by Romero, and Greg [Nicotero] was even in Day of the Dead. But those shows, they're very, very serious, they're very dramatic and can be very difficult to watch sometimes," Thomas explained of what makes this series different. "They're so heavy and they do an incredible job of carrying on that legacy of Romero's zombies. But we really wanted to go, 'How do we stand out from the crowd?'"
He added, "One of the choices we made was, let's inject some humor into it. I think that's where some of the influence of Return of the Living Dead, both Return of the Living Dead One and Two, Evil Dead, Dead Alive, those movies really were inspirations to us to go, 'How can we make a zombie series that is really fun to watch?' Because, like Jed said, we were in the middle of a pandemic. We still are. We were in the middle of this really contentious presidential election in the US. We wanted to give everyone a show that is gory and dramatic, but is really fun to watch."
Day of the Dead premieres on SYFY on October 15th.
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