George A. Romero’s passing yesterday has spawned numerous tributes to the legend. Paste’s own Jim Vorel wrote last night about how powerfully influential Romero’s work in the horror genre was, nothing that while Romero’s zombie flicks essentially created the modern notion of zombies, they even had a profound impact on comedic directors and artists, as well. Upon hearing the news of Romero’s passing, Edgar Wright took to his blog to pen a touching tribute to man whose work so profoundly influenced his own.
Wright’s career really took off once he directed Shaun of the Dead which was a direct parody of the zombie tropes established by Romero’s films. According to Wright, his career would have been profoundly different without the late director’s influence:
Without George, at the very least, my career would have started very differently. My future in film really started when I became firm friends with Simon Pegg while we were making ‘SPACED’ and we realised that we were both obsessed with ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ and George’s work.
I had been infatuated about George’s work before I saw it, scouring through horror and fantasy magazine for stills, posters and articles way before I was old enough to see his movies. When I finally did watch, on VHS or late night TV, the likes of ‘Night Of The Living Dead’, ‘Martin’, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’, ‘Creepshow’, ‘Day Of The Dead’ and others, I was a true devotee to all things Romero.
Later, after making ‘Spaced’, myself and Pegg had this wild notion of making a film that took place in George’s universe, but with a distinctly deadpan North London response to his Pittsburgh zombie epics. The resulting film ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, would obviously not exist without the master himself and when we completed the movie.
Wright and Romero were even able to strike up something of a friendship over the years, with the latter even lending a quote to the marketing of Shaun of the Dead. Indeed, Wright notes that Romero’s positive quote about the movie “became the sole poster quote for the movie in the United States.” The blog post goes on to detail their unique relationship, and is one of the more personal tributes written for the man who has affected so many writers, actors and directors working today.
Read Wright’s blog post in its entirety here, our own remembrance of Romero here and our review of Wright’s excellent film Baby Driver right here.