Were it not for horror icon George A. Romero, who passed away on Sunday after a battle with lung cancer, the modern zombie genre might have looked entirely different. Romero's work served as a reference point for countless zombie-centric properties, including Robert Kirkman's smash hit The Walking Dead. Now, Kirkman has paid tribute to Romero on Twitter, where he acknowledged the widespread influence of the legendary director.
Kirkman tweeted, "Without George A. Romero, there is no Walking Dead. His inspiration cannot be overstated. He started it all, so many others followed."
Without George A. Romero, there is no Walking Dead. His inspiration cannot be overstated. He started it all, so many others followed.— Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman) July 17, 2017
Romero started the modern zombie genre with 1968's Night of the Living Dead, which he directed and co-wrote with John A. Russo. The film spawned the Living Dead series: 1978's Dawn of the Dead, 1985's Day of the Dead, 2005's Land of the Dead, 2007's Diary of the Dead and 2009's Survival of the Dead.
Based on the popular comic of the same name, The Walking Dead debuted in 2010. The show wrapped up its seventh season in April and has been renewed for an eighth season. A spin-off show, Fear the Walking Dead, debuted in 2015 and will return for a fourth season at a currently unknown date.
Returning to AMC for its eighth season in October, The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene and Danai Gurira as Michonne.