Syfy is getting into the zombie business. The basic cable network has made a straight-to-series order for Day of the Dead, which THR calls “an ode to George A. Romero’s 1985 feature.” The low-cost feature is set to launch in 2021. Per THR, “Day of the Dead tells the story of six strangers trying to survive the first 24 hours of an undead invasion. The 10-episode series is produced by Cartel Entertainment, the film and TV production, management and financing company behind Shudder’s Creepshow, among others.”
For those who have never seen Romero’s Day of the Dead, the film takes place in a world where zombies have already overrun the world and the action takes place in an underground facility and shows the tension between soldiers and scientists. Like all of Romero’s zombie movies, there’s a strong social commentary and while Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are widely beloved, Day of the Dead also deserves some attention.
The question here is whether or not Syfy will want to pursue the same kind of social commentary or if this is just a swing at an imitation of The Walking Dead. I’ve been a bit surprised that more networks didn’t try their hand at their own zombie show given the success of AMC’s long-running horror-drama series, but now I’m eager to see what Syfy does with zombies and how they plan to differentiate themselves from the pop culture phenomenon of Walking Dead, which is already about to hatch its second spin-off series.
According to THR, “Raven’s Home creators Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas are set to write and serve as showrunners. Cartel partners Stan Spry and Jeff Holland as well as Drew Brown executive produce on behalf of the company, along with Robert Dudelson, James Dudelson, Jordan Kizwani from HiTide Studios.”