Carlos Gallardo (producer of Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi trilogy) and Kevin Eastman (co-creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and owner of Heavy Metal Publishing) have announced out in Comic Con that they will be executive producing Zombie Apocalypse, a new film by hot new writer/director Chee Keong Cheung. We are told Zombie Apocalypse is just a working title for now but the original screenplay has their full backing for the zombie epic they clearly have high hopes for (a trilogy is planned plus a multi platform graphic novel and merchandise tie ins) - it's selling point seems to be a zombie film that for the first time will feature mixed martial arts! A fall 2012 release date is planned for the first movie based on a screenplay by Cheung and co-written by Mark Strange and Steve Horvath and casting is already underway, with a production to kick off before the end of the year in the U.K.
In Zombie Apocalypse, when zombies start to take control of the world they turn into malevolent versions of their former selves with any previous physical combat skills enhanced to almost superhuman level, making eradication near impossible. Into this seething hell a squad of eight Special Forces soldiers are assigned a suicide mission to rescue a scientist from a city ruled by the undead.
Producing alongside Chee Keong Cheung of Intense Productions will be Mark Strange and Michael Riley of Sterling Pictures in association with fast rising UK independent production company Magic Lantern Digital Productions, headed by MickSouthworth and Martin McCabe who will both be acting as Executive Producers on the picture. The producers are currently in advanced negotiations with two major studios and several of the bigger independents for the UK rights for Zombie Apocalypse, as well as other English speaking territories outside of the US. Executive Producer, Carlos Gallardo, star and producer of El Mariachi and a long-time collaborator with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, explains his involvement:
When I read the screenplay for Zombie Apocalypse I was completely mesmerised. I found the script to be powerful, dynamic and fast paced.Chee is a great young director with a lot of talent and I believe a big career ahead of him and he reminds me of my early days and collaboration with my good friend Robert Rodriguezand I am very keen to be involved with the next generation of independent filmmakers who can deliver something new and fresh to fans and I feel with both Chee and Zombie Apocalypse we have something truly exciting and special.
Executive Producer, Kevin Eastman describes why hes on board:
Im a big action and zombie fan and I'm really excited Chee asked me to be part of the film. When Chee showed me the script and told me what he wanted to do with it, I just thought it was awesome.I think whats interesting is Chees taken the best elements of all the zombie films I'd ever seen and turned it on its ear by adding this element of mixed martial arts to it. I think its going to be new, fresh and what hes going to do with it is exceptional.I love Chee's vision and style and honestly believe Chee is a part of the next wave of new directors that will take the genre-based medium I thrive in to newer and greater heights! Were really excited about launching the first promotional campaign for Zombie Apocalypse at Comic Con.
Comic Con Zombie Apocalypse Signings With Carlos Gallardo
(star or El Mariachi) in attendance at the Heavy Metal Booth: