It's a huge blow for the movie industry as it's announced that zombie master George A. Romero has passed away at the age of 77 following a short illness. He will long be remembered as the pioneer of one of the world's most-loved horror sub-genres.

George A Romero at a DVD signingGeorge A Romero at a DVD signing

The filmmaker - best known for his zombie apocalypse series including 'Night of the Living Dead' and 'Dawn of the Dead' - died during the night on Sunday (July 16th 2017) having been struggling with cancer for a short amount of time.

His filmmaking partner Peter Grunwald referred to it as 'a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer' in a statement to the LA Times. George was accompanied by his wife of six years Suzanne Desrocher Romero and his daughter Tina Romero (from his previous marriage to Christine Forrest) at the time of his death, who revealed that he slipped away while listening to the score of 1952 Irish rom-com 'The Quiet Man' which happened to be one of his all-time favourite movies.

It's safe to say that the likes of Romero's 'Dead' films - which also include 'Day of the Dead', 'Land of the Dead' and 'Diary of the Dead' - are among some of the world's favourite movies. He was actually in the middle of writing another sequel entitled 'George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead' which he described as 'The Fast and the Furious with zombies'. 

The status of this planned release is up in the air following his death, but if it does go ahead there will no doubt be some delay with its release. 

With a budget of just $114,000, George A. Romero defined his career with the release of 'Night of the Living Dead' in 1968, grossing $30 million in box office sales and becoming a cult figure in not just horror filmmaking but the movie industry in general.

His work was the inspiration to a number of later filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, who shot to fame in 2004 with zombie parody 'Shaun of the Dead' starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The director paid tribute to his muse on his website.

More: Read our review of 'Diary of the Dead'

'It's fair to say that without George A. Romero, I would not have the career I have now', Edgar wrote. 'A lot of people owe George a huge debt of gratitude for the inspiration. I am just one of many.'