George Romero said that Jones "simply gave the best audition."
WikiPedia Notes about NOTLD Casting.
Duane Jones was the best actor we met to play Ben. ... Consciously I resisted writing new dialogue ‘cause he happens to be black. We just shot the script. Perhaps 'Night of the Living Dead' is the first film to have a black man playing the lead role regardless of, rather than because of, his race.
More quotes from Romero about Duane Jones. From “Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever” (Citadel Press/Kensington, 2010).
But the movie's ending also can't help but serve as a biting social commentary as well.
Pictures about "Why did Romero cast a Black actor as the lead?"
Is Night of the Living Dead an allegory?
In American movies, the hero is never killed by the good guys. Writer-director George Romero and co-writer John Russo said the film was not intended to be about race (Kane, 2010). However, it is impossible to deny that Night of the Living Dead has become an American racial allegory
What is the message of Night of the Living Dead?
The Theme Of Fractured Groups
The screenplay by John Russo and George A. Romero beautifully hit on the flaws in human nature. Forgoing a zombie invasion, Night of the Living Dead is about how groups of people - no matter how small - typically fail at coming together and successfully completing a task.
Was Night of the Living Dead successful?
Following its theatrical premiere in Pittsburgh on October 1, 1968, Night of the Living Dead eventually grossed US$12 million domestically and US$18 million internationally
, earning more than 250 times its budget and making it one of the most profitable film productions ever made at the time.
Was Night of the Living Dead black and white?
Because Night of the Living Dead was shot in black-and-white
, George A. Romero was able to find some inventive ways to pull off the films', at times, terrifying gore.
The Rare Black Lead in Horror: Duane Jones in Night of the Living Dead | TIFF 2019
//ads: adsterra -- social banner