George A Romero, director of the massively influential Living Dead movie franchise, has passed away aged 77.
Romero is credited with "creating the modern zombie" film with his seminal 1967 film Night of the Living Dead, which spawned five sequels and a slew of imitators.
His manager, Chris Roe, announced that the director passed away after a "brief but aggressive" battle with lung cancer on Sunday with his wife and daughter by his side, listening to the soundtrack of The Quiet Man, "one of his all-time favourite films".
Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in across social media from celebrities and fans alike. Many filmmakers have noted the exceptional influence Romero had on the zombie genre, including Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, who penned a special blog post in memory of the director.
"It’s fair to say that without George A. Romero, I would not have the career I have now," Wright wrote. "A lot of people owe George a huge debt of gratitude for the inspiration. I am just one of many."
The filmmaker said that he and star Simon Pegg had bonded over an obsession with Romero's Dawn of the Dead while filming sitcom Spaced, which would go on to inspire their breakout film, deadpan zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead.
It is one of many films that owe a debt to Romero's genre-defining debut, which introduced the catatonic, cannibalistic monsters to the world.