Horror enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of reboots and remakes these days. What began with the revitalization of timeless favorites such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, and Friday the 13th in the 2000s has now taken a new turn towards continuing the legacies with sequel films. This horror renaissance has seen the triumphant comebacks of iconic franchises like Scream, Halloween, and Evil Dead, garnering immense critical acclaim. And now, fans can rejoice as the beloved zombie classic, The Return of the Living Dead, is set to rise again, with an official reboot in the works from the aptly named Living Dead Media.
It’s important to clarify that this isn’t a mere remake of the cherished horror-comedy gem from 1985, as confirmed on Living Dead Media’s website. A preview on the site states, “Our reboot of Return of the Living Dead will expand upon the existing world created by the original five films, while remaining true to the R-rated, sci-fi, horror, dark comedy roots adored by fans of the cult classic worldwide for over three decades.” The statement further declares, “We are thrilled to resurrect this legendary franchise for both current and new generations of zombie enthusiasts.” The project has already enlisted director Steve Wolsh, known for his work on Muck and Kill Her Goats.
The Living Dead Are Far from Resting in Peace
While George A. Romero’s unrelated Living Dead franchise stands as the most well-known and acclaimed zombie material in the industry, The Return of the Living Dead carved out its own distinctive identity. Drawing inspiration from films like Night of the Living Dead, Return masterfully blended horror and comedy—a rare feat at the time of its release. It wholeheartedly embraced the genre, featuring grotesque body horror and remarkable practical effects, along with the campy humor synonymous with the zombie apocalypse. Return was truly a pioneer, combining genre references, self-aware humor, and genuinely terrifying moments into one delightfully macabre package. Its influence extended to other genre classics like Scream and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, as well as modern zombie comedies such as Zombieland, Anna and the Apocalypse, and The Dead Don’t Die. A devoted legion of undead followers quickly emerged, leading to a handful of sequels: Return of the Living Dead Part II, Return of the Living Dead 3, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave. However, none could come close to capturing the biting wit of Dan O’Bannon’s original zombie comedy. Hence, it will be intriguing to discover the direction of this new reboot and whether any of the series’ original stars, such as Thom Matthews, will make a return to this exciting project.
Melinda Clarke in ‘Return of the Living Dead 3’
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When Can We Expect the Release of ‘The Return of the Living Dead’ Reboot?
No specific release window or date has been announced for ‘The Return of the Living Dead’ reboot. In the meantime, as horror enthusiasts eagerly await further updates on the project, they can enjoy the original film, now available on 4K Blu-ray from Scream Factory since late last year. Additionally, the film can be streamed for free on Tubi. Check out the trailer for ‘Return of the Living Dead’ below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about zombie classic
What is the reboot of “Return of the Living Dead” about?
The reboot of “Return of the Living Dead” expands upon the existing world created by the original films while staying true to the R-rated, sci-fi, horror, and dark comedy roots. It aims to bring back the beloved zombie classic with fresh twists for both existing fans and new generations of zombie enthusiasts.
Is the reboot a remake of the 1985 horror-comedy gem?
No, the reboot is not a remake. It builds upon the established world of the original five films while adding new elements. The intention is to honor the cult classic’s legacy while introducing a refreshed take on the story.
Who is directing the reboot of “Return of the Living Dead”?
The reboot is being directed by Steve Wolsh, known for his work on films like “Muck” and “Kill Her Goats.” His directorial vision will shape the new installment of the franchise.
Will any of the original stars return for the reboot?
At this point, it is unclear if any of the original stars, such as Thom Matthews, will be returning for the reboot. Further details about the cast have not been announced yet.
When can we expect the release of the “Return of the Living Dead” reboot?
There is no specific release window or date announced for the reboot yet. Fans will have to stay tuned for further updates on the project’s progress and eventual release date.