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Having already unleashed a plague of the walking deceased in 2006’s DEADLANDS: THE RISING and last year’s DEADLANDS 2: TRAPPED (pictured), director/co-writer Gary Ugarek is planning to make it a trilogy with DEADLANDS 3. Preproduction has begun on the movie, for which Ugarek provided us with a synopsis.
“DEADLANDS 3 follows three groups surviving in the zombie-infested world,” the filmmaker tells Fango. “Carrie, her brother Jason, Dave and Melisa have holed up in an abandoned warehouse just on the outskirts of Baltimore. They perform suicide runs for the survivor community in Havre de Grace, MD, who then barter for fresh food, etc. The community in Havre de Grace is headed by Emma Jane, a very caring, motherly type who is trying to keep the survivors together and striving, but all of them finally meet Col. Tobias Morganelli, who’s modeled a bit after Rhodes from DAY OF THE DEAD. Morganelli is part of an elite tactical unit sent out to find VIPs and others of importance, to prevent all-out war with other countries around the world that may still have access to their weapons of mass destruction. But Morganelli has a death wish, and is willing to see the entire world collapse, so it’s up to the surviving colonies to stand up and prevent him from executing his plan.”
This sequel’s storyline was actually conceived for DEADLANDS 2, and the script was a collaboration between Ugarek and Lonnie Martin, the filmmaker behind the upcoming WOMEN’S STUDIES. The former hopes Martin will be an integral part of the production as well: “Since Lonnie has helped with DEADLANDS 1 and 2, I would love him to come on the project as a producer and 2nd-unit director,” he says. “While we have only talked about it briefly on and off, I am hoping his schedule will open up and he can join in on the zombie mayhem.”
Casting is currently underway, and the script has already been sent out to a few genre names. Ugarek notes, “As in George A. Romero’s zombie films. the characters change from story to story, but as far as the actors from previous films coming back…hell yes! I would love to have Jim Krut again, and DEADLANDS series regulars Dave Cooperman, and Michelle Wright will always have a part in my films. I also hope I can bring back the cast from DEADLANDS 2 to take some of the smaller roles, because since making parts 1 and 2, the production has become a very close-knit family. We are always trying to make sure we look out for one another. To have Ashley [Young], Corrine [Brush], Joe [Durbin], Chris [Clark] and Josh [Davidson] come back would be truly awesome and make the circle complete.”
Production on DEADLANDS 3 is scheduled to begin in spring 2011 and will take place on locations in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Ugarek is aiming to begin hitting the film festival circuit the following year. For ongoing updates, keep an eye on the DEADLANDS franchise’s official website.
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