George A. Romero's classic horror movie Night of the Living Dead, which paved the way for almost every modern interpretation of zombies, is about to find new life. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced in The Hollywood Reporter that they'll release Night of the Animated Dead later this fall, an all-new adaptation of Romero's original movie. The trade reports that the new movie will have an all-star voice cast including Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) as Barbara, Dulé Hill (Psych) as Ben, Josh Duhamel as Harry Cooper, James Roday Rodriguez (also Psych) as Tom, Katee Sackhoff as Judy, Will Sasso as Sheriff McClelland, Jimmi Simpson as Johnny and Nancy Travis as Helen Cooper.
Jason Axinn, who previously directed the animated horror movie To Your Last Death, will helm the project. Michael J Luisi, Ralph E. Portillo, Robert Feldman and Kevin Kasha produce with Richard Potter, Thomas DeFeo and Jamie Elliott executive producing. The trade reports that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the film later this year on home media and through digital platforms.
Night of the Living Dead, despite being released in 1968, has tragically already fallen into the public domain which allows anyone to remake or reinterpret the film in anyway they choose. The first remake came in 1990 with special effects artist Tom Savini sitting in the director's chair and Romero himself involved with the production, and updating his story by penning the script. A 2006 remake Night of the Living Dead 3D would debut later, bringing about a prequel of its own Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation. Even animated adaptations of the story have been produced before with Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn being released in 2015.
The other interesting legal branch that emerged from Night of the Living Dead stems from the title itself. Romero collaborated on the script for the first movie with John Russo and after the pair dissolved their partnership split their ownership of the original movie into two places. After this Romero owned all rights to sequels to the movie (which he produced in the form of Dawn of the Dead & Day of the Dead), while Russo would return the rights to any title with "Living Dead" in it, which he would use to start in his own film franchise starting with 1985's The Return of the Living Dead (the horror comedy also hinted at the events of Night of the Living Dead as being both a movie in its continuity and a real event).