×

‘The Walking Dead’ to Theme Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Annual Halloween event also planning mazes around 'The Evil Dead,' 'Cabin in the Woods'

It may be summer, but it’s never too early for Halloween for Universal Studiostheme parks.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will serve as the overall theme of Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s annual Halloween Horror Nights’ event and return as a maze for a second consecutive year. Event runs Sept. 20 through Nov. 2.

The parks are also developing attractions based on horror films “The Cabin in the Woods” and the recent remake of “The Evil Dead.”

“The Walking Dead” maze will be based on the third season of the show, set inside the West Georgia Correctional Facility, overrun by hordes of flesh-eating zombies, the surrounding woods and the town of Woodbury. The fourth season premieres Oct. 13, around when Halloween Horror Nights takes place.

“Both creative teams at Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and Hollywood will painstakingly re-create several iconic moments from ‘The Walking Dead’ to give fans a chance to participate in an actual interactive experience,” said Greg Nicotero, executive producer and special effects makeup supervisor on the show. “It was a great joy to be able to share with fans those scary moments and frightening set pieces from our show. It is something that I’m very, very excited about, collaborating with this team to help to make the experience as authentic as possible. I want it to feel like they’re on the set with us!”

“What’s great about working with a property like ‘The Walking Dead’ is that each season presents new environments and characters for us to draw inspiration,” said John Murdy, creative director for Universal Studios Hollywood. “With the prison as the main setting of season three, we seized this opportunity to recreate that very environment, down to the last detail, to be as genuine and authentic to the show as possible. Using movie-quality production value, our goal is to make guests feel as if they are mired in the world of blood-thirsty zombies, which is something you can only do at Halloween Horror Nights.”

In addition, all of the parks’ scare zones throughout the park will be themed around “The Walking Dead,” with guests entering the more iconic scenes from the show and sets — including Hershel’s barn and an zombie-infested Atlanta — as they make their way to mazes.

“The goal is always to surround guests with authentic and terrifying experiences,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “The combination of ‘The Walking Dead’ themed street experiences and the haunted maze will make it difficult for our guests to escape the hordes of ravenous walkers they’ve seen on their television. The moment you pass through our gate, you become a survivor fighting for your life.”

Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” graphic novel celebrated its 10th anniversary at Comic-Con this year. The books are published by Image Comics.

SEE ALSO: Universal treats ‘Walking Dead’ fans

For “The Evil Dead” maze, also planned for both the Hollywood and Orlando parks, Universal will work with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to develop a maze based on the film that follows five 20-something friends who awaken an ancient demon in a cabin in the woods. Film, produced by Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, bowed on homevideo July 16.

The Cabin in the Woods,” based on the Lionsgate film that Joss Whedon produced, will only be developed for the Orlando park. Universal is working with Lionsgate and the film’s director and co-writer Drew Goddard to produce a haunted house based on the film.

More Biz

  • Timbaland

    Hipgnosis Songs Acquires Timbaland Catalog

    The fast-rising Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited continues its aggressive growth surge, acquiring a catalog from songwriter-producer-artist Timbaland that comprises 108 albums and songs. Timbaland is one of the most successful songwriter-producers in the hip-hop/R&B realm: The catalog includes hits by Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Madonna, 2Pac, Rihanna, Drake and [...]

  • Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for

    Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for New Studio Album

    Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. The still-untitled album, Wainwright’s ninth of original material and first since 2012, is described in the announcement as “a return to form and his most accessible album to date.” To that end, it is “the bookend” to [...]

  • Kevin Feige Marvel Studios Variety Cover

    Kevin Feige Named Chief Creative Officer of Marvel

    Kevin Feige’s universe continues to grow. The mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been named Chief Creative Officer, Marvel in addition to being president of Marvel Studios, Variety has learned. He will now be responsible for the overall creative direction of Marvel’s storytelling across mediums, including publishing, film, TV, and animation. Marvel Television and [...]

  • China presentation mipcom

    Reality Shows, Rom-Coms and Ping Pong Dramas: Chinese Producers Show Off TV Exports

    At its best, television serves as a mirror for its audience. This year, the Mipcom conference trained its annual country-of-focus spotlight on original TV content produced in China. That proved to be a timely choice as the conference came on the heels of last week’s headline-making clashes between Chinese and Western cultural values in the [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Reports to Federal Prison to Serve Two-Week Sentence

    Felicity Huffman reported to federal prison in Dublin, Calif., on Tuesday morning to begin her two-week sentence for paying to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test. Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, admitting that she paid $15,000 to consultant Rick Singer to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Idira Talwani sentenced her last [...]

  • Sallie Krawcheck

    Sallie Krawcheck's Ellevest Launches Women-Focused Impact Investment Platform

    Ellevest, the female-focused investment platform headed by Sallie Krawcheck, has launched an impact investment fund that will court high-net-worth women in entertainment and other sectors who want to tailor their stock portfolios to favor companies with good track records on a range of social concerns. Krawcheck, who was one of the highest-ranking women on Wall [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content