Two of the producers behind January's successful reboot of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" have snapped up the remake rights to George A. Romero's 1985 zombie classic, "Day of the Dead."
Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell, who produced "Texas Chainsaw 3D," which grossed $34.3 million early this year, said they acquired the rights from James and Robert Dudelson, whose Taurus Entertainment produced an earlier "Day of the Dead" remake in 2008 with Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon.
Grobman and Campbell said their company, Campbell Grobman Films, is now holding meetings with screenwriters about the best way to adapt the 1985 original about a group of military personnel and scientists hiding from the undead in a bunker.
The producers said they expected the remake, a collaboration with Millennium Films, to have a budget of between $10 million and $20 million and be in theaters next year.
"Zombie movies are really popular right now, and we feel we could do this right," said Campbell, a former genre movie actress who is currently producing the Kate Beckinsale psychological thriller "Eliza Graves." Campbell, whose acting credits include "2001 Maniacs" and "Drive Angry," actually had a small role in the 2008 remake.
Grobman said she and Campbell wanted to prove that "Texas Chainsaw 3D" was not a fluke. "Everybody in town was claiming they were behind its success," she said. "We wanted to show that we didn't just get lucky. It was a very calculated production."
The two said they had very few specific ideas about their "Day of the Dead" remake except that it would try to honor Romero's original, which was a follow-up to the filmmaker's seminal horror films "Night of the Living Dead" in 1968 and "Dawn of the Dead" in 1978.
"We want to keep it as close to the Romero version as possible," Campbell said, "to make sure that his fans are happy. These are not going to be zombies climbing walls and doing back flips like in 'World War Z.'"
In addition to Grobman and Campbell, the movie's producers will include the Dudelsons and Millennium executives Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson and Mark Gill.