When it comes to “sequels that didn’t happen immediately after the first film came out, I would be lying if I said I thought Zombieland 2 would ever come into existence. And yet, that’s exactly what it looks like is happening, now that Sony Pictures has brought in screenwriter Dave Callaham in to rework the sequel’s script, which will be supervised by returning director Ruben Fleischer. Somebody get Woody Harrelson’s name on a contract immediately, and bring some Twinkies just to make sure.
Callaham broke into Hollywood by co-writing 2005’s video game adaptation Doom, not a film that many would slap on their business cards. He then went on to pen the first Expendables movie with Sylvester Stallone, which gives him a little bit of leeway in the world of over-the-top action movies. I think Zombieland counts as that, though the first film’s script from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick is far more hilarious than anything in the Expendables franchise. (Let’s hope they do the same thing with Deadpool.) Callaham even got a story credit on Godzilla, alongside screenwriter Max Borenstein.
According to Deadline, there is no deal in place for Fleischer just yet, but he’s been the only real driving force behind the project after the first one tore up the 2009 box office. The main thing stopping Zombieland 2 from getting made has been securing a script that is worth diving back into the lives of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). It’s not even clear if all of those actors would be willing to return for a sequel at this point in their ever-blossoming careers. (But they’d better.)
The first film earned $102 million worldwide on a meager budget of $23.6 million, which is just the kind of math that Hollywood usually likes. After the studio initially balked at the idea of a sequel, Amazon Studios got involved and adapted the film as a half-hour pilot, but it wasn’t particularly well-written. (Strange, since its creators were Reese and Wernick.) Not enough people voted for it during Amazon’s Pilot Season, so it went the way of the zombies. Relive it briefly with the trailer below.
With movies like Life After Beth, Zombeavers, Cooties, and others, there’s no shortage of zombie comedies currently hitting the feature circuit. Is there still room for Zombieland 2 in all of that, or should the studio use rule number one, “Cardio,” and just run away from this?