'Return of the Living Dead' Book Project in Jeopardy
November 23, 2009
A glossy book devoted to the history of the "Return of the Living Dead" film franchise is in the works for the 25th anniversary of the original film's release. However, one thing is holding production of the book up: Warner Bros. They're not cooperating!
Author Gary Smart tells ESplatter: "I am the co-writer of a book titled 'The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead'. This book is a celebration of the ROTLD franchise and charts its history with exclusive behind the scenes information. The book is 300 pages and covers all five movies with over 200 never-before-published photos."
"The book has support from over 50 (so far) members of the ROTLD franchise who have offered to support the project and give exclusive interviews delving into the productions of some of the most loved movies in Zombie Cinema. Support has come from; Dan O'Bannon, Brian Yuzna, Ken Weiderhorn, William Butler, Don Calfa, Jewel Shepard, Beverly Randolph, Sarah Douglas, John Penney, Aimme Lynn Chadwick, Allan Trautman, Brian Peck, Linnea Quigley, Marsha Deitlein, Graham Henderson, John Philbin, Willaim Munns, William Stout to name but a few. We are waiting replies from a number of other cast and crew including; Clu Gulager, Melinda Clarke and James Karen."
Everything sounds like it's going to plan, right? Fans will finally get a "Crystal Lake Memories"-style book devoted to "Return of the Living Dead." But the project has hit a snag -- and a pretty big one. They can't get permission to use images from the second best film in the series -- "Return of the Living Dead II". Granted, it's not a great movie. But it is the second best in the series.
"We are in talks with MGM to allow us to use frame enlargements, stills and posters to compliment the text and personal photos of Part 1. HOWEVER Warner Bros. who now own the rights to Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988 Lorimor Ent. Dir: Ken Weiderhorn) have refused to allow us to use frame enlargements, stills and posters to compliment the text and personal photos with no explanation why, this is devastating to the project as fans want to know more about ROTLD II."
"There are immense benefits for a studio to allow images to be used in a book like ours. Paramount have allowed a number of authors to celebrate their movies (Friday 13th franchise) in books with the use of images as they see these projects as free publicity, promoting interest in their movies.
ROTLD II has lay dormant for nearly 21 years, it was released in 2009 on DVD without any promotion and this is the time to celebrate these movies.