The chances of a sequel to 2009’s sleeper hit Zombieland being made have been looking extremely dim of late. However, that film’s vision of a post-zombpocalyptic world may live on (pun intended)… on the small screen, that is.
Reports are in that Fox Broadcasting is collaborating with Sony Pictures Television on a Zombieland TV show, which would be a half-hour action-comedy series in the vein of the 2009 film. That makes it all the more fitting that original screenwriting duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are also “onboard” to design the program.
It’s no secret that Reese and Wernick’s Zombieland screenplay was originally fashioned to serve as the pilot episode of a zombie-centric television series. While their script was eventually re-worked to function as more of a standalone feature-length movie, certain television-oriented elements (like the “Zombie Kill of the Week” concept) remained. Even from a pure narrative perspective, the plot of Zombieland doesn’t so much reach a fitting conclusion as it simply… well, stops – much like the first episode in a TV show would.
Here’s what Vulture has to offer, on that topic:
As ‘Zombieland’ producer (and new Vulture columnist) Gavin Polone noted when we called him up to confirm this news, “The original plan for this was to make it as a TV show.” Indeed, CBS actually ordered a pilot script for the concept all the way back in 2005, “but they did what networks do, which is to take all the good stuff out.” CBS ultimately passed and Syfy was interested, but couldn’t make things work financially, Polone says.
While details about the characters and overreaching storyline of the Zombieland TV show are currently unavailable, it’s pretty much a given that the original film’s in-demand cast won’t be involved. So expect either new actors and actresses to play the obsessively-ordered Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), rowdy Twinkie-lover Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), or the loner survival-minded sisterly duo of Wichita and Little Rock (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) – or, rather, to see entirely new characters on the Zombieland TV series.
Fox’s decision to press ahead with a Zombieland TV series was undoubtedly in part influenced by the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead – which, just this week, broke ratings records with its season two premiere. However, the former will surely be much more of a comical show that involves people surviving in a zombie-filled wasteland than the latter.
Between that element and the sustaining popularity of the Zombieland name, this new television series should be able to distinguish itself from its more serious AMC counterpart – and not follow in the footsteps of this season’s already-failed attempt to replicate the success of another critically-acclaimed cable series that involved almost identical subject matter (see: NBC’s The Playboy Club and AMC’s Mad Men).
We will keep you posted on the status of the Zombieland TV series as the story develops.