Weinsteins reckon on "Dead" theatrical release
The Weinstein company has bought North American distribution rights to DIARY OF THE DEAD, the latest installment in George A. Romero’s epic “Dead” saga, which began back in 1968 with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The new film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was well received, prompting several offers. Because the film is a low-budget horror effort, which will probably end up with an R-rating, some companies were interested in direct-to-video distribution; however, the Weinsteins, apparently buoyed by the recent success of HALLOWEEN, shelled out $2- to $2.5-million for a deal that includes theatrical distribution.
DIARY OF THE DEAD is not a sequel but an attempt to jump-start the franchise anew. The new story follows a group of college students out making a movie when the living dead phenomenon strikes, and the film is told from the point of view of their camera, which records the action in the first-person. Romero explains in a Dread Central interview excerpted at E-Splatter.com:
October 16, 2006 — Romero had this to say about the nature of “Diary of the Dead”:
“Well, I’m sort of going back to the roots, basically. I’m going back to the first night, when things started. […] [A]nd so it’s basically going back to the beginning with a different set of character and taking the whole phenomenon as it comes. And it’s all subjective camera. It’s a bunch of kids that are out making a movie… college kids that are making their own little horror flick and they have a camera… and they get the news and they take off in a van and it’s all then, it’s all from this guy’s camera. I guess, in a way I guess it’s like Blair Witch… but it’s not… you know, I’m not trying to imitate Blair Witch…. I’m just trying to do it from a subjective point of view with no music and no… just really do it raw. It’s kind of a stylistic experiment, under the radar, low budget thing. It’s just sort of from the heart, you know.”