See First Look At Next Big Zombie Series, Generation Z

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

Generation Z

Generation Z is the latest addition to the zombie genre, carrying on a tradition of social commentary through horror. According to Deadline, the series comes from Ben Wheatley, director of Meg 2: The Trench, though his filmography does include award-winning work like the feature Down Terrace. Wheatley directed the film in eight days and it won both the Best UK Feature award at Raindance in London and Next Wave prize at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.

The problems begin in Dambury, a fictional town where the residents of a nursing home are turned into flesh-hungry ghouls by a nearby chemical leak.

Wheatley makes a foray into the zombie genre with Generation Z following a career that has featured his work in horror and thrillers, as well as dark comedies and even some episodes of Doctor Who. The new series will be aired on the UK’s Channel 4 in six parts and is currently in production by The Forge, the production company for Help and Roadkill. The filming is presently taking place in Wales.

Though Wheatley has done his share of television work over the years, Generation Z is his first series, the story of which begins with the elderly as the first victims of a zombie plague. The problems begin in Dambury, a fictional town where the residents of a nursing home are turned into flesh-hungry ghouls by a nearby chemical leak.

Somehow, the chemical exposure seems to cause a virus of some sort which is passed to a teenager by her infected grandmother, causing a group of her friends to become infected as well.

Generation Z

The Zombie Obsession

Generation Z continues the seemingly endless rise of zombies in the media following decades of increasing stories of the undead, from zombie movie series like Resident Evil and 28 Days Later to comedies like Warm Bodies, Zombieland, and Shaun of the Dead.

Of course, the most prominent and persistent flesh-devouring franchise is The Walking Dead, which began with the original HBO series in 2003 and has since included four additional series with two more, Daryl Dixon and The Ones Who Live, set to premiere next year.

The genre has long been more than just a gorefest, focusing on subtle and not-so-subtle social commentary as far back as its origins with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and this latest entry is no different.

The cast of Generation Z includes Robert Lindsey of Wimbledon fame, Sue Johnson, known for her work on Downton Abbey, and Anita Dobson from Call the Midwife.

The series is touted as an examination of “intergenerational justice” and the breakdown of community, intending to be a satire of political and cultural trends regarding the relationship between truth and fiction. The fracturing of political structures and other societal ills from the perspective of teenagers form the thematic basis of the series.

Generation Z, whose cast includes Lewis Gribben, Viola Prettejohn, Buket Komur, Jay Lycurgo, and Johnny Vegas, was commissioned by head of drama for Channel 4, Caroline Hollick, along with commissioner Rebecca Holdsworth.

Wheatley is both writing and directing the series, which is produced by Alex Kazamia in association with ZDF and All3Media International. Wheatley also serves as an executive producer alongside Mark Pybus, George Faber, and Beth Willis.