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Diamond Dead (Development Hell) [Last Updated: 01/02/04]
Story revolves around a subpar garage band and an aspiring female singer who wants to sing with the guys, who are on the brink of breaking. Unfortunately, she dashes her own hopes when she accidentally wipes out the entire band.

"She makes a deal with Death to bring them back, but they return as zombies, which wasn't what she was banking on," Romero explained. "To make it more humorous, Death has a sick sense of humor and arranged it so that they are magically a smash-hit popular band. Whatever problems with things like decay doesn't mean they can't still play a mean lick."

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See also:
George A. Romero, Richard Hartley

You may also like:
Land of the Dead 2, Mortuary, Return of the Living Dead 4, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Flight of the Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, My Boyfriend's Back

07/09/04 George Romero talks LAND OF THE DEAD and DIAMOND DEAD
After years of little activity, George A. Romero is suddenly busier than a flesh-eating ghoul in a shopping mall. Two film projects—the rock-and-roll horror film DIAMOND DEAD and his fourth official entry in his classic zombie series, LAND OF THE DEAD–are now closer to reality than ever before. In fact, after so many false starts and unrealized projects, Romero is now dealing with a different sort of issue. “I’m suddenly faced with a problem of both films having financing, and I believe LAND OF THE DEAD is going to go first, since that deal is basically complete. But I love DIAMOND DEAD, and I hope the money people will wait for me, instead of trying to find someone else to do it.”

Both movies have independent financing, although Romero says that LAND OF THE DEAD (formerly DEAD RECKONING) has a big-name producer behind it. “I can’t say who it is yet, but it’s a major deal,” the filmmaker says. “I hope they leave us alone and don’t want to ‘Hollywood-ize’ it too much, or spend too much money, but those are battles yet to be fought.”

Romero does acknowledge, however, that there’s a very good chance that the initial release version of LAND OF THE DEAD will not have the same freedoms as his original, unrated DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD. “The producers want major distribution, so I’m sure that the first release version, in this country anyway, will have to be R-rated. I don’t think they’ll want to go NC-17. But they’re gonna let me shoot the film the way I want to, and they’ll let me do the cutbacks for release. Hopefully the fans will still show up, and then see the [unrated] edition later on video.”

The director hopes to begin production on LAND OF THE DEAD in October, with KNB already bidding on the FX work, and Romero says the project is “definitely moving full speed ahead.” He’d love to begin work on DIAMOND DEAD immediately afterward, possibly in the spring; the project’s website can be accessed here. A third film—Romero’s adaptation of Stephen King’s THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON, is waiting in the wings and could also roll by mid-2005, and the director will executive-produce a Paramount remake of his 1973 film THE CRAZIES, being scripted by Scott (TEXAS CHAINSAW) Kosar. While juggling all these projects could be stressful to some, Romero is perfectly happy: “It’s nice to know that I might be working! I’ve been sitting on my ass for too long. But, yeah, things look really good right now.”

05/20/04 Dead 4 Greenlight, Dawn DVD Date, Crazies Remake In Production & George A. Romero Updates
Master chef George A. Romero's various dishes have all gone from simmer to boil this past week, let's start with the news we all wanted to hear from
"Just got off the phone with a VERY reliable source and am happy to announce that Romero's newest zombie movie has been given the green light - and we got the scoop!!

After word/rumors of this installment have floated around for how long, Fox gave the green light just today [5.10.04] and this 4th zombie/dead installment, still being called 'Dead Reckoning' is now actively looking at locations for shooting. 'Reckoning' is said to take place after the events of Day of the Dead.

George and several cast members from the original installments - Night of the Living Dead [Kyra Schon, Russ Streiner, and John Russo], Dawn of the Dead [Ken Foree, David Emge, Scott Reiniger, Sharon Ceccatti, and Clayton Hill], and Day of the Dead [Lori Cardille, Joe Pilato, Gary Klar, and Anthony DiLeo] - will also be at the Horrorfind Convention this August in Baltimore - can you smell a theme?

And if that's not enough zombies and Romero news for you... George is also working on pre-production for another zombie film called Diamond Dead, about a young women working with a zombie band on a mission to kill 365 people in one year's time."

Kick fuckin` ass! Now for some short but sweet news from, the release date for Anchor Bay's three disc Dawn of the Dead DVD set will be set for September 7th, 2004. This set is speculated to contain the Director's Theatrical Cut, The Cannes "Director's Cut" and the Dario Argento European Cut. But if you missed the updates here's some more news from DVD Maniacs:
Anchor Bay gave us a little scoop on their upcoming multi-disc set of Dawn of the Dead. This past Friday, a new commentary track was recorded with the four of the original cast members: Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross, Scott H. Reiniger, David Emge! This is the cherry on the top of the cake! This is an excellent addition to the final set is shaping up to become the version to end all versions! A lot of credit should got to AB for putting this together. Getting people together from different locations is a sometimes a huge task, but they did it.

AB has also acquired the rights to The Killing Machine with Sonny Chiba, and the old '70s grindhouse flick, Brotherhood of Death!

Felshner (Anchor Bay) has confirmed at a convention that Document of the Dead will be included on in the boxset, but it will not have any of the extras of the Synapse release.

Also from

Paramount Pictures is going with The Crazies, setting up a remake of George Romero's 1972 horror-thriller with Michael Aguilar and Dean Georgaris to produce at their Penn Station shingle, according to Variety.

"The project will update the storyline of the original, in which inhabitants of a small Pennsylvania town are beset by death and insanity after a plane crash lets loose a secret biological weapon into the water supply.

The original was released in 1972, four years after Romero's debut with "Night of the Living Dead."

Romero, who directed and co-wrote the original pic with Paul McCollough, is exec producing. Par exec VP Ally Shearmur and veep Andrew Haas are overseeing for the studio while Katie Lim is supervising for Penn Station.

Penn Station signed a first-look deal with Paramount last year. Its projects include sci-fier "The Girl Who Could Fly"; comedy "The User," which Guy Walks Into a Bar is co-producing; and an adaptation of Michael Marshall Smith's sci-fi novel "Spares," with Vertigo Entertainment partners Roy Lee and Doug Davison."

And now for the news direct from the horse's mouth.
ABC decided not to do "Dracula". They did Stephen King's hospital thing instead. (I got beat-out by my buddy, Steve. I'm pissed, but not suicidal.) Faithful agents are currently trying to peddle my Drac script elsewhere. Que sera, sera.

Steve and I are working together on "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". Dakota Fanning wants to play "The Girl". Laura Dern is interested in playing "Mother of the Girl". We hope to shoot this coming summer. If it doesn't happen, I'll be pissed, but not suicidal.

My fourth zombie flick, "Dead Reckoning", is percolating on "high boil" since the "Dawn of the Dead" remake made 27 million in its first weekend. There's a very good chance that "Dead Reckoning" will go into production soon.

Soon. The great God Soon.

"Diamond Dead" continues to percolate on "hogh-boil" as well, benefiting from the success of "Dawn". (Check out the "Diamond Dead" web site, also designed by Cameron…brilliantly. I'll be showing up there every once in a while, along with Richard Hartley ("The Rocky Horror Picture Show").

I've written a six-issue comic book series for DC about a dead super hero (I deal in death a lot), and I've written two new screenplays on spec., "The Calling" and "Stranger". (More about those later, if there is ever more to report.)

That's all there is, guys, for now.

No news on The Ill, and that's just a statement of fact not a complaint. Damn cool news. Damn cool.

05/20/04 Diamond Dead Casting Speculation
Speaking of Diamond Dead, here's some possible casting news from
DAVID BOWIE, MARILYN MANSON, OZZY OSBOURNE , JOHNNY DEPP, and GWEN STEFANI are all being considered for roles in a rock zombie movie.

The official website for the film allows fans to read the scripts from the films, and director Andrew Gaty has been running his casting ideas past users of the site.

"We are finding out aboutDavid Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne. We also discussed Gwen Stefani for Aria. I am particularly interested to hear your thoughts on Gwen."

"The script is out to Marilyn for the role of Jesus Christ. Any comments?"

Of course, this has stired some controversy reported by MSNBC:
Will Marilyn Manson play Jesus?

The shock rocker — whose controversial lyrics and stage antics have made him the target of some Christian groups — is being tapped to play Christ in an upcoming film. “Diamond Dead” is a far cry from “The Passion of the Christ.” It’s a dark comedy about a rock band that makes a deal with the devil and — according to an excerpt of the script posted on line — in the film, Jesus smokes pot. “Diamond Dead” will be directed by George Romero, who also did “Night of the Living Dead,” and music was written by Richard Hartley, who composed for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“The idea of Marilyn Manson in the role of Jesus Christ is getting all sorts of reactions,” according to the “Diamond Dead” web site. “Someone emailed me saying that it’s a horrible and anti-Christian idea, but nevertheless they are praying for us.”

When called by the Scoop, Manson’s rep had no comment.

Diamond Dead production has released some statements:
MSNBC has a story today on their home page today about the possibility of Marilyn Manson in the role of Jesus Christ, mentioning that Jesus smokes pot. They are also featuring a “live vote”, which certainly seems lively. The early count is about 2/3 against, 1/3 for.

I though we should make clear that our intent is to be of good humor and not to offend. This should not be taken out of context. To illustrate that all this is just fun, Jesus says "don't tell Dad".

Some of the reaction is based on the first two drafts of the script and not on the latest one by George. I hope that we will be able to get the next draft posted soon, which clarifies the scene a little better. I think the scene they refer to is somewhere around page 70 or 77 on the drafts posted and on page 57 on the third draft.

I don’t want to this to get out of hand and I will be discussing this with Scott Free.

We have received quite number of emails complaining about the possibility of Marilyn Manson in the role of Jesus Christ and about the scene in Heaven with Dr. Diabolicus and Jesus smoking pot.

It appears that there is a campaign being organized to stop production of the movie. It is not out of the question that this may be a bit of a worry to some of the studios who may be interested in distributing our movie. If this happens, so be it.

The reason why we have posted these emails is that we felt we should not censor comments. Also, we set out from the start to answer all questions, so we thought it fair to allow this group to have their say.

We stand by our project and will not make any changes to accommodate the radical and biased comments.

There are two more rewrites, which have not been posted and at least one more rewrite coming from George, so these comments are way too premature.

We regret that some might find parts of the script offensive, but those who are offended have an easy choice: don’t see the movie.

I know Romero will stick to his guns when he feels he has to, but it'll be interesting to see if the producers will pressure for change. Stand strong George!

01/05/04 Ridley Scott Joins The Diamond Dead
In talks for months, Ain't It Cool got the first offical news:
I'm here in LA helping DIAMOND DEAD get off and running, and thought you'd be interested to know that RIDLEY SCOTT and SCOTT FREE PRODUCTIONS have just hopped on board. You heard right- Ridley Scott is joining Andrew Gaty as co-producer of a film directed by George Romero. This is great news for the production, and for fans of George- for obvious reasons.
How'd you like to work on Romero's next feature, you may not even get a buck but maybe a free t-shirt:
We're looking for some passionate fans who'd be interested in helping us out. Right now we're looking to build a great team of interns (doesn't matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection and a phone). Motivation and passion are the key factors in who we're looking for- so if anyone's interested, email me (cover letter and resume, or just tell me about yourself, why and how you want to help- no attached files...) at MCGOWAN [at] DIAMONDDEAD.COM

In short, there's an opportunity to work on this film as it is being wheeled to the launching pad. You don't need industry experience to apply- we want people who would LOVE to work on this film.

Check out the website at

01/19/04 TeamXbox Joins the Diamond Dead
Sounds like George A. Romero's latest project Diamond Dead is actually starting to get some where with this new report:
This week, we reached an agreement with in which they will sponsor the Open Source nature of the Diamond Dead video game development.

They are already hosting the official Diamond Dead forums on their website and fans and gamers alike are flocking to get their gaming suggestions heard.

This could be a first for the gaming industry, as we are being sure to take everyone's suggestions into consideration.

Sure, there are weak suggestions or suggestions that we're just not ready to get to yet, but all in all, everyone in the forums seems to be taking this opportunity seriously and posting genuine and serious thoughts for the game.

This is a really excitiing piece of this whole Diamond Dead puzzle for all of us involved, as we're all pretty much Xbox freaks and are absolutely psyched about the opportunity to be involved in the development of an actual Xbox game!

According the official website they expect to shoot around March next year, possibly in England.

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