By Kayla Marie
When the news of that a new Creepshow series was making its way to AMC’s horror streaming service, Shudder, fans of the 1982 film written by Stephen King and directed by the late George A. Romero were filled with excitement. What propelled this excitement further was the announcement that Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) would be the showrunner and unlike with the third film, King would be involved.
This project is one that is near and dear to Nicotero, who landed his first major special effects makeup job for Romero’s Day of the Dead, and studied under the tutelage of Romero.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, he revealed, “Creepshow, you know, the crazy thing is that was the first movie set that I have ever visited. When I was 16 years old. My uncle was an actor in Pittsburgh, and he was in The Crazies. So I happen to run into George Romero, we were on a family vacation, and I went ‘hey, you know, my Uncle Sam was in The Crazies.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah, great!’ They were starting to shoot Creepshow and he invited me to come visit. So I feel like I have an obligation to George and his daughter Tina came and visited the set [of the new show]. She told me, ‘Dad would be so proud of you right now.’ And there were a lot of times when I felt I felt him and his presence. So that makes me super proud. Really proud.”
The 1982 film was an homage to the EC horror comics from the 1950s, like Tales from the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear. The new series is an anthology that will draw from 12 short stories, including King’s “Gray Matter.” Nicotero gave a glimpse into the process of choosing which stories would fit the theme and mood he was going for.
He explained, “I started reading a lot of short horror fiction, and when you’re producing three TV shows, and you direct, I don’t have a lot of time to read books, like I love reading, but I just don’t have time. So I need the appetizer version. And I know a lot of great writers and a lot of them are friends. So the idea that we would start collecting material and they were all great. You go ‘okay, which ones do we make?’ Because they’re also fucking good.”
He continued, “But what was interesting about it was like, there was one that we really, really liked, and we might make it for if we do a season two, but you have to balance that like, ‘Does it feel a little Twilight Zone?’ I wanted them to really feel like straight horror, at least in terms of the tone, but that was the fun part was like, working on The Walking Dead and going to bed with like stacks of stories and scripts to read.”
With a September 26th premiere date and an all-star cast including the original Creepshow star Adrienne Barbeau, Emmy-Nominated Giancarlo Esposito, Tobin Bell, Tricia Helfer, and more, the chills and thrills await viewers new and old.
“The original Creepshow was Stephen and George’s love letter to EC comics. So they were just paying tribute to something that they love something that inspired them. And, of course, Creepshow was something that inspired me. So I feel like this is not a reboot, it’s not a rebranding. I always felt that Creepshow was way ahead of its time, in the way that George told those stories,” Nicotero said. “So it will satisfy fans are the original because it’s going to feel like ‘Oh, well, I just read that issue. Now I’m going to read another issue.’ And I think with the newer audiences, the idea that this anthology, it’s unlike anything else, because we can tell whatever stories we want, some of them are kind of funny. And you know, some are weird, and some are scary.”