FANGORIA has learned that Tobe Hooper is in talks to direct two back-to-back RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD sequels for the film series’ producer, Tom Fox. Ironically, Hooper had once been attached to helm the original ROTLD in 1985, before screenwriter Dan O’Bannon stepped in.
ROTLD 4 & 5 are expected to shoot this summer, with both sequels featuring scripts by the writing team of William Butler and Aaron Strongoni. "The first one, subtitled RAVE FROM THE GRAVE, is a lot like the original, with the comedy," Butler tells Fango. "It’s a collegiate setting, like ANIMAL HOUSE but with horror. The story of part four will go right into part five, but the sequels will also be standalones. Part five is being called BATTALION, and it’s our BAND OF BROTHERS with zombies."
"We’re writing these films as fans," Butler adds. "I’m having so much fun! They are the zombie movies that I grew up with. We really pay homage to the first film, and we want to get many of the original cast back for cameos, especially Thom Mathews and James Karen." Optic Nerve’s John Vulich, who handled the walking stiffs on the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake (in which Butler co-starred), will tackle FX chores on both ROTLD follow-ups.
Butler, whose early-’90s horror acting credits also include LEATHERFACE and GHOULIES II, has been developing ROTLD sequels with Fox for the last few years. One rejected screenplay has even been spun off into a separate zombie project called NECROPOLIS.
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