The time is coming closer when you’ll finally be able to break out the Twinkies you’ve been saving in a hyperbaric chamber since 2009—we have actual, apparent progress on a Zombieland sequel. According to Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the screenwriting team behind the original film, the sequel (which they’re also writing) will be shooting for a 2019 release date. And the best news is this: Reese and Wernick are saying that the entire original cast is on board.
“We’re going on the tenth anniversary of Zombieland,” said Wernick in an interview with Vulture. “Zombieland came out October of 2009. We don’t know what you get someone for their tenth anniversary, but it may be a Zombieland 2. The hope is that we’re shooting that thing early 2019 for an October of ’19 release. With the original cast, by the way. We are sitting on information that we can’t entirely share at this moment, but we can just say we think fans of Zombieland who have been hoping for a Zombieland 2, that we will grant their wish very, very soon.”
Sounds pretty good to us. It will be interesting to see what Tallahassee, Columbus, Little Rock and Wichita have been up to in almost a decade since the events of the first film. It’s safe to assume that given the age progression of the actors—especially Abigail Breslin, who was 12 at the time of the first movie—that a Zombieland 2 would have to take place quite a lot further into the future. It begs the question of how the zombie apocalypse of America has been faring during all that time. Have the survivors managed to reclaim some segment of the country? Perhaps Columbus and the gang are now part of a larger community, ‘ala The Walking Dead? Hopefully, Tallahassee hasn’t gone off the deep end and become the Negan-esque despotic ruler of some community with a bunch of people impaled on pikes out front.
It’s sort of easy to forget now, but the original Zombieland was by no means a surefire hit when it was released in 2009. Made for a relatively small budget of only about $24 million, it was the first zombie film to ever make more than $100 million and was the highest-grossing zombie film in the U.S. at the time of release, a record that has since been smashed by the likes of World War Z. Although Shaun of the Dead certainly predated it as a “zombie comedy,” it was Zombieland that brought the concept its big box office appeal, and intensified the late 2000’s zombie obsession that led to the 2010 premiere of The Walking Dead and a host of both big-budget and indie zombie movies and TV series. If films such as 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake reinvigorated the zombie genre in the mid-2000’s, Zombieland showed that a zombie film could make a whole lot of money at the U.S. box office.
Reese and Wernick, meanwhile, used the success of the film to catapult them into the Hollywood scene. In the years since, they’ve written 2016’s smash hit Deadpool and this weekend’s Deadpool 2, and are working on a bevy of projects right now, including a remake of the board game Clue and the Chris Pratt-starring Cowboy Ninja Viking, which is going to be just as zany as it sounds. So when they say that Zombieland 2 is happening, it’s probably safe to say that they’re not talking out of their asses.
Here’s hoping that we get some more concrete information on the sequel, sooner rather than later.