George Romero left behind a number of unreleased projects when he passed away in 2017, though some of the projects are being completed by his close collaborators. Writer Daniel Kraus recently revealed on Twitter that he had finally finished writing The Living Dead, a novel which Romero began working on but never completed, and will land on shelves next year.
I have turned in THE LIVING DEAD, the massive zombie epic I co-wrote with George Romero. While writing, I wore George’s scarf, a gift from his wife. ☠️💚 (June 2020 from @torbooks) pic.twitter.com/QySG1deNVS— Daniel Kraus (@DanielDKraus) February 19, 2019
In addition to confirming that he had finished working on the project, Klaus also noted that he did a majority of his writing while wearing one of Romero's personal scarves.
When the project was initially announced last year, Klaus detailed just how large of an impact Romero had on his entire career.
"I could talk all day about George. He's the reason I'm a writer. He might be the reason I'm interested in art, period," Kraus shared with Entertainment Weekly. "When I think back on all the artists who might have inspired me, I feel so lucky and so thankful that it was George — for his sense of humanity, his unacceptance of social injustice, his adamant refusal to let the human race off the hook."
Dating back to 1968's Night of the Living Dead, Romero never had the luxury of working with massive budgets. Even after his successes, studios still doubted his visions could become as profitable as other horror films. The result was intimate stories told in undead wastelands, but Kraus claims The Living Dead depicts another side of Romero's imagination.
"What's exciting about the novel, though, is how it goes the opposite direction," Kraus added. "It's huge. It's a massively scaled story, a real epic, the kind no one ever gave him the budget for in film. In a book, of course, there is no budget, and in his pages you can feel his joy of being able, at last, to do every single thing he wanted."
Kraus admitted that, while many sequences in the novel were nearly ready to be published, other elements of the narrative are loose sketches of the story.
The book is described, "Spread across three separate time periods and combining Romero's biting social commentary with Kraus's gift for the beautiful and grotesque, the book rockets forward as the zombie plague explodes, endures, and finally, in a shocking final act, begins to radically change."
Stay tuned for details on The Living Dead before it hits shelves in June of 2020.
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