Return of the Living Dead..What was the original concept?

Discussion in 'General' started by rijir, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. rijir

    rijir Member

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    Dan O'Bannon has said that the original idea for Return of the Living Dead was a more direct sequel to NOTLD. But since Day of the Dead was coming out they didn't want to compete with George.

    Anyone know what the original concept was? Or has this script, if there was one, ever seen the light of day?

    I just cought this film on TV again the other night. How much fun it was. I remember seeing it at the theater when it came out. I still have some of the posters they handed out at the theater.
     
  2. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    I don't think O'Bannon ever had any intention of making John Russo's Return of the Living Dead story into a film, they merely bought it for the name and ran with it. I think what is on screen is the original concept that O'Bannon had.

    Russo's story is set sometime past the events of NOTLD. They have the zombie problem under conrtol by spiking the heads of the recently dead. A bus crashes and everyone dies and with no one around to extinguish the recently dead, a new outbreak occurs. That is it in a nutshell. Sherrif McClelland returns :)
     
  3. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    If you want to know, seek out Russo's novel (by the same title), it has the original concept I believe. Be prepared to fork over some dough, though, it is long out of print.
     
  4. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I thought the book was different from the later script Russo wrote with the same name. I seriously doubt it could have been any good, O'bannon probably underplayed that fact. Russo was muscled out of the franchise and is one of the few situations where I say "good riddance."
     
  5. rijir

    rijir Member

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    Did they ever release the score to ROTLD? I have the old LP but that is the punk rock tracks. I have never come across the actual score.
     
  6. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    You could be right. I believe the book was optioned as source material, though... Does that sound right?
     
  7. Mark Relford

    Mark Relford Chairman of the Bored

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    The score has never seen a proper release. There was talk of a "special edition" soundtrack from Rykodisc. It would've been a perfect opportunity to include the score.

    Never read Russo's original followup to Night. I did enjoy his novelization of Return. It's a little different from the movie. (Two corpses in Ernie's embalming room attack Scuz. Trash never comes back. Frank "lives" and attacks a cop. And there's the Russian spy wraparound with the barrels.)
     
  8. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    From wiki:

    The film has its roots in a novel by John Russo also called Return of the Living Dead. When Russo and George A. Romero parted ways after their 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, Russo retained the rights to any titles featuring Living Dead while Romero was free to create his own series of sequels, beginning with Dawn of the Dead. Russo and producer Tom Fox planned to bring Return of the Living Dead to the screen in 3D and directed by Tobe Hooper. Dan O'Bannon was brought in to give the script a polish and after Hooper backed out to make Lifeforce (also from a script by Dan O'Bannon), O'Bannon was offered the director's seat. He accepted on the condition he could rewrite the film radically so as to differentiate it from Romero's films. Russo retains a story writer credit on the film for developing the project, but the final film bears little to no resemblance to his original novel. He later wrote a novelisation of the film which was fairly faithful to the shooting script, though without the character names as in the final film and the addition of a KGB sublot as an explanation for the plot. (Russo would, eventually, make his own 'canon' series with a 1999 revised edition of Night of the Living Dead, subtitled the 30th Anniversary Edition, and it's sequel, Children of the Living Dead.)

    FYI for interested parties...
     
  9. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    I forgot about his alternate ROTLD book, which I also have. I liked the 2nd novelization as well as it dug into the characters a bit more than the film. It also includes a couple of moments that only appear on the workprint, such as the trains leaving with the barrels on it at the end.
     
  10. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    I've been looking for a copy of that book for years!!
     
  11. dirkwu

    dirkwu Bannable Lector

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    I was underage and I snuck into the theater to see this one.










    IT FUCKING BLEW MY MIND!!!
     
  12. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Oh yeah.

    When tarman bites that dude's skull, my adolesence ended.
     
  13. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    If you see Russo at a convention he has then for sale at his table.

    That movie blew my mind as well. When they start sawing that dudes head off I about puked!
     
  14. Agentsusp

    Agentsusp Member

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    I have a couple copies of the book, one autographed by Russo, I didn't pay much for it.

    I also have a copy of the Dawn of the Dead novelization.
     
  15. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    Really? Does he charge an arm and a leg for it? Or just BRAINNNSSS? :D

    I've never seen him at a convention in our state. You are still in Florida, right?
     
  16. ekent

    ekent The Lord's Arm of Justice

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    Yep, still in Tally.

    I think it was $20 signed. Could have been $15, it has been a few years.
     
  17. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    I'm rarely up there anymore, but next time I am, I have to say hello!! Thanks for the info!
     

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