An excerpt from my script review for Zombi 2 which will be available 03/06/17:
1.) Marketability of the Idea
Zombie. Zombi 2. Nightmare Island. Island of the Living Dead.
This script by Elisa Briganti was apparently a pretty big scandal in its day, drawing criticism of riding the “zombie wave” of popularity in cinema from producers/directors who felt it was solely theirs.
Boy, would be interesting to see these folks’ take on the current zombie trends in the entertainment industry.
Which brings me to the point of this section.
Is pitching a zombie project “dead” on arrival?
(This discussion can also apply to vampires.)
Most knowledgeable screenwriters will warn you off this particular niche of horror, as will producers, managers and agents.
Personally, I take my own preferences into account, and recall I didn’t make it through the first season of Fear the Walking Dead although I’m a dedicated fan of The Walking Dead.
Reason being, the wife and I realize that maybe 4 out of 10 episodes of the original series are really substantial anymore, so why would we invest time in a separate set of characters in a series littered with filler?
We can’t, and we won’t.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t think any future zombie movies won’t get made.
Are zombie movies dead? No, there’s a dedicated fan base.
HOWEVER, if you’re convinced you need to write a script encompassing this lore, you better have an extremely unique twist if you want any semblance of a shot at getting it made.
Just think of how far we’ve come in the genre. You’ll still have cult “purists” who remember Night of the Living Dead as a great film, but audiences demand more from the current market.
So unique how exactly?
Well, if I had that answer I wouldn’t be reviewing this script right now, I’d be writing the next great zombie flick.
But when I say unique, it can’t be a simple solution like, a particular city or time frame that we haven’t seen before.
Your twist needs to give an agent, producer, manager, etc. that “holy shit” feeling when they read your pitch. Asking themselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
My advice? Try to find something else worth writing, because I guarantee you the term “zombie” will nine times out of ten warrant an eye roll or exhausted sigh from someone reading your logline.
Since I can’t find the exact box office stats, here’s a list of past zombie movies and how they did.
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