Sometimes you need to clear out part of an afternoon to just sit back in your most comfortable chair, with a big glass of coffee or whiskey, and try to figure out how many things there are left on Earth that haven’t yet faced zombies in a battle to the death (or undeath). I don’t think Garfield has fought zombies yet. Nor has Chef Boyardee. Or birdbaths. Screenwriters of the future, now you have your challenges mapped out. (Wait, Garfield did fight zombies in the Garfield Zombie Defense app game? Ugh.) Paramount Pictures is resurrecting the somewhat stagnant horror/comedy project Boy Scouts vs. Zombies, and has dug up a director in Christopher Landon, currently in post-production on his sophomore feature, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, or “The Latino Paranomal Activity” for those who wondered. That’s Boy Scouts vs. Zombies, a gimmick so nice, I had to say it twice.
The project began as a Black List screenplay from 2010, meaning there must be quite a bit of potential. It was written by Carrie Evans and Mei Mochizuki, whose only produced credits were co-writing the 2008 Martin Lawrence/Raven-Symone comedy College Road Trip. But we’ll try not to be put off by that. Last year, the Tropic Thunder and Men in Black III screenwriter Etan Cohen was set to direct, with Drop Dead Gorgeous screenwriter Lona Williams brought in to touch the script up. It’s fair to say this news is proof that a lot can change in a year.
Landon himself will be giving the script a pass. His only other directing credit is 2010’s vignette comedy/thriller Burning Palms, which he also wrote, and it showed some variety in his genre writing. Otherwise, he wrote 2007’s Disturbia, the werewolf flick Blood and Chocolate, and four Paranormal Activity films, including The Marked Ones. I only readily cop to liking the crazy turns that the third P.A. film took, but it’s no surprise that none of those movies were crafted from award-worthy scripts. Not that it’s all about awards, but it’s Boy Scouts vs. Zombies, for merit’s sake, and this needs to be a little more clever with the jokes and than the average indie mash-up, wouldn’t you guys agree?
Paramount is working with Broken Road Productions, Oops Doughnuts, and Brucks Entertainment in producing this flick, which probably means there’s a decent amount of money going into it. Not summer blockbuster money, but double digits at least, and more than Landon is used to working with.
To take a stab at what the plot will consist of, it’ll be kids out on some outing. The troop leader dies. The kids use all of the skills they have learned as Boy Scouts to kill zombies. Possibly like Home Alone, only in the woods and with murderous corpses instead of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, what if they would get Pesci and Stern to be zombies? Keep the change, ya filthy animals.
This is expected to go into production this spring.