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Inside Move: Bring out your ‘Dead’

Zombie pic pair gives U marketers the chills

What happens when a studio has a remake and a spoof of the very same film in its pipeline?

Universal is dealing with just that question. On March 19, it will release “Dawn of the Dead,” Zack Snyder‘s remake of the George Romero fright classic of humans battling the undead in a shopping mall.

Across the Atlantic, Working Title is putting the finishing touches on “Shaun of the Dead,” which is billed as a “zom rom com” — a zombie romantic comedy — starring Brit comedian Simon Pegg. U will release it in the U.K. on April 9.

When (or if) “Shaun” will have a U.S. bow is an open question. Produced by Working Title’s low-budget arm WT2 and with no U.S.-known stars, “Shaun” could be best suited for a limited release by U’s specialty unit Focus Features.

But a spokesman at U suggests the studio doesn’t want the two films preeming in the U.S. too closely together.

” ‘Shaun of the Dead’ was greenlit with the condition that ‘Dawn of the Dead’ would be released here in the U.S. first,” he says.

Of course, if “Dawn” is a smash, it may prove fortuitous to have a zombie comedy waiting in the wings.