Shudder’s Creepshow series has made mini sequels to horror movies before. The season 2 episode “Public Television of the Dead” was an Evil Dead sequel. Season 3’s finale will spin off Night of the Living Dead. The 1968 George Romero classic started the zombie craze as we know it today. Zombies rise from a cemetery and survivors take refuge in a house where the living may be just as deadly.
Creepshow executive producer Greg Nicotero was on a panel at the Nightstream film festival on Oct. 7. During the panel, he previewed the season 3 finale, “A Dead Girl Named Sue.” Nicotero is also an EP on The Walking Dead and is in charge of a lot of the zombie makeup. The Walking Dead definitely would not exist without Night of the Living Dead either.
Greg Nicotero discovered the ‘Night of the Living Dead’ story before ‘Creepshow’
Before Creepshow, Nicotero recalled traveling to do press for The Walking Dead. He downloaded Nights of the Living Dead to read on his iPad. It was a collection of short stories set on the same night as Night of the Living Dead. Romero’s sequels would follow different characters the next morning and some time after, but never other parts of the world on that fateful 1968 night.
“I’m reading it on the plane,” Nicotero said. “There’s a Joe Lansdale story. I read one story called ‘A Dead Girl Named Sue’ and I fell in love with it. It was written by a guy named Craig Engler. So I fly back to LA, I call my agent. I’m like, ‘Hey, I don’t know what I’m going to do with this story. I think I want to shoot it as a short filrm but I really enjoyed it.’”
The ‘Night of the Living Dead’ story actually got Greg Nicotero the ‘Creepshow’ job
What began as a short ended up as a whole series, and it took until season 3 to actually make the Night of the Living Dead short. Nicotero had a history with Creepshow already. He’d visited the set of the 1982 Romero/Stephen King movie when he was 16.
“They reach out to Craig, call me back and say, ‘You know, you guys work for the same network. He works for AMC. He works at Shudder. He’s the guy at Shudder,’” Nicotero said. “So I wanted to option the story. Then they call me back again and say, ‘Hey, so they’re developing Creepshow and they need a creative executive.’ Literally this TV show in this incarnation exists because of that story.”
Greg Nicotero didn’t even end up directing the ‘Night of the Living Dead’ story
By the time it got to Creepshow Season 3, Nicotero had to let “A Dead Girl Named Sue” go. He’d already directed three episodes and was still running the show.
“I ended up directing ‘Skeltons in the Closet’ which aired recently, ‘Drug Traffic’, and ‘Queen Bee’,” Nicotero said. “I was trying to just keep the show running so unfortunately I wasn’t able to direct it but John Harrison directed the episode. It’s really just another really fun unique piece of storytelling told the same night as Night of the Living Dead happened. It’s sort of like a different part of the country.”
New episodes of Creepshow premiere Thursdays on Shudder. Look for “A Dead Girl Named Sue” on Oct. 28.
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