It appears Zombieland 2 is finally moving ahead. That’s the good news. The bad news is the question of whether or not the original cast will be brought back to reprise their roles.
We saw how badly Zombieland the TV series was received (and promptly killed by fans after the pilot aired on Amazon). In large part, people hated the show out of existence because the show reprized the main character roles, but replaced them with different (and not as talented) actors. I actually thought the TV pilot was pretty good, and didn’t deserve the amount of hatred it received. And it did have the two writers from Zombieland the movie on board, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, so it did have much of the same sense of humor. The problem was it didn’t have Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.
So, the big question is, will the creators of the sequel make the same mistake?
Well, number one, the sequel is not being written by the original creators. It is being written by Dave Callaham, who wrote The Expendables. And Doom (the movie). To be fair, he did pen the story that eventually became Godzilla (2014). Hmmm.
They are bringing back the original director of the first Zombieland movie, Ruben Fleischer, who really hasn’t done anything of note since that film. And Gavin Polone will be producing. Gavon Polone also produced the failed Zombieland TV pilot, incidentally.
Throw all of that into a blender, and what have you got?
Well, really, until you add Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, you have a whole lot of milk with no flavor, in my opinion. I am sure those four actors have been approached, but it remains to be seen if they sign on. All of their stars have skyrocketed since the 2009 release of Zombieland.
In speaking with Total Film back in 2011, Woody Harrelson had this to say about a sequel:
I didn’t even want to read the script [of Zombieland]… Then as it turns out, I read the script and I thought it was phenomenal, really funny…Usually, if I theoretically reject it, I’m right, but this one I was dead wrong. And it might be the first movie I do a sequel to.
I’m sure it will happen if everyone does it, but I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do…It’s one thing to do it when it came out real good and it made a lot of people laugh, but then to do a sequel…I don’t know. I don’t feel like a sequels guy.
There you have it. That’s about as committal/non-committal as you can get, I say. I, for one would love to see a Zombieland 2. But sequels being what they are, I’m afraid of what might get made. So, come on guys, please… prove me wrong.