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The undead action comedy ZOMBIELAND was released back in 2009, the unlikely Woody Harrelson/Jesse Eisenberg film eventually earned $102 million at the box office, which in turn sparked plenty of talk about bringing Harrelson, Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin back for a sequel. However by 2011, Eisenberg sounded hesitant about his involvement, questioning the sequel’s relevance while Harrelson made it known that he didn’t “feel like a sequels guy.” 2013 saw the attempt at ZOMBIELAND: The TV Series which was expected to happen through Amazon Instant Video but the company passed on the pilot.
ZOMBIELAND writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick recently spoke to Kevin Smith on his talk show Geeking Out where they confirmed that they’re currently working on ZOMBIELAND 2 and that they are in talks with the original cast.
One person that they spoke about that may or may not be involved in the sequel is Bill Murray.
Wernick and Reese, who most recently wrote DEADPOOL, went on to reveal that in the original ZOMBIELAND script, Murray’s role was meant to be played by Patrick Swayze. Plans changed however as this was during the period when Swayze was battling pancreatic cancer and was too sick to make it to set. He passed away in September of 2009, just a few weeks before ZOMBIELAND made it's way to theaters.
Reese and Wernick reached out to many other actors to see if they had any interest in taking on the cameo role.
“We offered it to probably 12 other actors,” Reese said. “And every time we did, we rewrote the script to make jokes specific to that actor. So, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Bacon, Mark Hamill… Jean Claude Van Damme passed, and subsequently, we heard through the grapevine he said it was the biggest mistake of his career.”
Desperate and just days away from shooting the scene, Reese and Wernick went to Woody Harrelson to find out if he had anyone in mind that might be interested in the role. He made calls to Dustin Hoffman and Billy Murray, but when Hoffman could not make it, the rest became history.
We will continue to keep you updated on ZOMBIELAND 2 as it takes shape.