2009’s Zombieland was the rare functional blend of comedy and horror that made for a captivating film. Now, a full seven years after the original film’s release, a sequel is in the works.
This sequel will reportedly come from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the two writers behind the original Zombieland, and the pair that shepherded Deadpool onto the screen. Reese and Wernick were guests on Kevin Smith and Greg Grunberg’s AMC show Geeking Out when revealing the news. “That is breaking news, that we’re on Zombieland 2 right now,” the pair revealed. “We’re sitting with Woody [Harrelson] tomorrow and are going to sort of walk him through some of the stuff we want to do. All the cast is pretty excited.”
While Reese and Wernick didn’t officially confirm this, “all the cast” likely means the return of Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and perhaps even Bill Murray. The legendary actor made a famous cameo in the first Zombieland that will remain in the annals of film history for generations to come.
While on Geeking Out, Reese and Wernick also revealed exactly how that cameo came about. They explained that the part was originally written for Patrick Swayze, but when the late actor got sick, the pair were forced to look for someone else. After asking Sylvester Stallone, Mark Hamill, and several others, all of whom passed, the pair prepared to shoot the scene without any cameo.
“So we’re two days away from shooting the scene,” Reese explained. “We had written an alternate scene with no celebrity where they just fought a bunch of zombies in this mansion. Paul, to his great credit, doesn’t like to take no for answer, walked up to Woody Harrelson on the set and said, ‘Woody, anyone else? Do you have any ideas?’ He said, ‘Dustin Hoffman, and Bill Murray.’” Hoffman would eventually pass, and Murray is known for not being easy to reach.
Harrelson, however, had an in from his days working with Murray on Kingpin. He called Murray up, and the pair sent him a script via Kinkos (Bill Murray, in classic Bill Murray fashion, does not have an email address). In the initial draft of the script, Murray was already undead when they found him. The pair rewrote the scene to give him more to do, and 36 hours later, they filmed it.
The rest, as they say, is history. Now, with a sequel in the works, it looks like Murray may have a chance to reprise his role. This time, though, he would have to be dead from the start. Check out a clip of Reese and Wernick explaining this themselves below.