Today horror cinema fans lost one of the most iconic and legendary filmmakers of all time, George Romero. Born and raised in the Bronx, the American-Canadian director and writer got his start after graduating from university in 1960 and began his career shooting short films and commercials. One of his early commercial films was a segment for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in which Rogers underwent a tonsillectomy. Romero is best known for his series of zombie apocalypse films which began in 1968 with “Night of The Living Dead”, “Dawn of The Living Dead” (1978) and “Day of The Living Dead” (1985). Outside of his living dead series, he’s known for other gems including out favorite, “Creepshow” 1982 and is noted as a pioneer in the horror film genre and is widely regarded as the father of zombie films.
In 1998, he directed a live-action commercial promoting the videogame Resident Evil 2 in Tokyo. The 30-second advertisement featured the game’s two main characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, fighting a horde of zombies while in Raccoon City’s police station. The project was obvious territory for Romero; the Resident Evil series has been heavily influenced by the “Dead Series”. The commercial was rather popular and was shown in the weeks before the game’s actual release, although a contract dispute prevented it from being shown outside Japan. Capcom was so impressed with Romero’s work, it was strongly indicated that Romero would direct the first Resident Evil film. He declined at first — “I don’t wanna make another film with zombies in it, and I couldn’t make a movie based on something that ain’t mine”, although in later years, he reconsidered and wrote a script for the first movie. It was eventually rejected in favor of Paul W. S. Anderson’s version.