Ben Wheatley Developing Zombie Pensioner Satire 'Generation Z' for TV

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Ben Wheatley

The Channel 4 comedy series — a macabre and pitch-black look at the current state of the U.K. — is Wheatley's first original TV project.

Ben Wheatley, who first began on TV before making a name for himself with features such as Kill List, Sightseers, High-Rise and Free Fire, is bringing his trademark pitch-black comedy back to the small screen. 

The cult British filmmaker is writing and directing the six-part series Generation Z, his first original TV project and a satirical zombie drama which sees rapacious baby boomers and disaffected teenagers at each other's throats — this time quite literally. 

Commissioned by U.K. network Channel 4 and produced by The Forge, Generation Z takes a swipe at the current state of Brexit Britain, where seemingly endless austerity, astronomical house prices, insurmountable student debt and a political system that appears intent on destroying itself is making the future look bleak for today's youth. Adding insult to injury, their hard-earned taxes are being eaten up by the old — smug, self-satisfied, small-minded "Little Englander" pensioners whose remaining sole purpose in life is to make it a misery for everyone else.

In a small British town, tensions come to a head when a mysterious military convoy crashes outside the Sunnywise Retirement Home. The vehicles were carrying a toxic substance, which, as a result of the crash, leaks into the local environment and infects the residents of the retirement community. The symptoms of this infection quickly manifest — an overwhelming appetite for raw flesh.

They’re old, they’re angry and they’re on the rampage. As the military scrambles to control the outbreak and keep everything out of the media spotlight, a group of regular teenagers find themselves in the thick of the battle against these flesh-eating baby boomers.

"I’m excited to be working with Channel 4 and The Forge," said Wheatley, who also had an adaptation of Rebecca in development for Working Title and Netflix. "Generation Z is my first original created TV project and I couldn’t think of better partners."

Generation Z is produced by The Forge for Channel 4 and has been commissioned by Channel 4’s head of drama Caroline Hollick and commissioning editor Lee Mason. The series will go into production in 2020 and will be executive produced by Wheatley, Mark Pybus and George Faber. 

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